Renewal Movement Committee

Thy kingdom Come Ascension to Pentecost Novena


The God who is

1 John 1:1-2 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched-this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

First things first! “In the beginning God’ are the first words of the Bible. ‘In the beginning was the Word’ starts St John’s Gospel. In the opening verses of his first letter John brings the two together. Eternal Life is God’s good news. It is the free gift of God: Father, Son, and, as John makes clear in this Letter, the Holy Spirit.

God is complete love. As Billy Graham, a well-known proclaimer of the Christian faith, put it: ‘God didn’t create mankind because He was lonely, but because He is love! God loves us and loves relationship. Creation is pictured in Genesis as God speaking.

He speaks and things happen. Universes expand, worlds take shape. Light, darkness, colour, and texture combine in the beautiful wonder of creation. Microorganisms too small to see, galaxies too vast to comprehend, all have their place in God’s plan. Scientific theories may help us with the how of creation, but the Bible tells us the who of it. God created the world. He created us.

As the lens of Genesis focuses in on one planet and one species, we see that God makes human beings in His image to love and be loved. We are made for relationships-not only with each other but also with God.

After relationship comes responsibility. We are to be responsible for the creation that God places in our care within the context of our relationship with God. God loves us and created us for deep communion with Him.

This is why, in the picture-book of Genesis, God comes looking for Man and Woman in the garden, ‘in the cool of the evening’ (Genesis 3.8). After all, that is the time of day when work is over and friends gather to share and to talk.

John doesn’t present God as an interesting ‘add-on’ to life for those who enjoy religion. God is God. The Great ‘I AM’ from the beginning (the title He used to introduce Himself to Moses in Exodus) to the end (Jesus applies it to Himself in John 8.58). He is the one who made us, loves us, welcomes us home in Jesus and is there whether we like it or not, believe it or not, want Him or not. He is the God who IS.

Take time today to pray for five people you know and love to know God’s love for them. As you pray for them remember we are the pictures of Christ in the world; icons of His love in the way we care for creation and minister to the needs of those around us. – The Very Revd Bob Key

Note: The Thy Kingdom Come Novena for 2023 is focused on verses from St John’s First Letter. Thy Kingdom Come is our annual invitation and encouragement to Christians and Churches, across the world, to seek the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that we might live out and share the Kingdom of God.

Deanie Lambie-Williams