Creativity, Week 1
Creation Story, Part 1
God made everything.
In the beginning . . . the very beginning . . .
Before “once upon a time” and “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . .”
Back before everything . . .
There was nothing.
Not a whisper of wind.
No crisp autumn apples.
No silver sliver of moon in the sky.
No smell of damp earth in a fresh spring rain. There was nothing . . . except God.
Then, God created the heavens and the earth!
But still, there was dark void. God’s Spirit hovered over the empty waters.
And then God spoke, “Let there be light.”
God’s voice shattered the darkness in a blaze of blinding light. Brilliant beams dazzled the earth.
“It is good,” God said.
God separated the light from the darkness. He called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And there was evening and morning: the very first day ever!
Then God spoke again, “Let there be a huge space between the waters. Let it separate water from water.”
Just like that, waves crashed and roared. The waters pooled across the face of the earth, leaving a soaring space to arch above. God called it the “sky.” And there was evening and morning:the second day.
God was just getting started. Now His voice rang out again: “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place. Let dry ground appear.”
The earth shook, and mountains shouldered their way from the depths of the sea. Great continents lumbered to the surface.
Islands popped up.
Deserts and hills and beaches spread themselves out.
God named the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters, He called “seas.”
“That is good!” God said.
Then, God added a whole new dimension. “Let the land produce plants,” He called out. “And let there be trees on the land that grow fruit.”
Instantly, giant redwood trees shot up, and baby bonsai unfurled their tiny arms.
Grasses spread over the fields, and vines curled everywhere.
Mangoes and grapes hung heavy from leafy branches, while carrots and potatoes dug themselves into the rich dirt.
“That’s good, too!” God said.
There was evening and morning, and cornstalks waved their long leaves in farewell to the third day.
But God was just getting started. He called out again: “Let there be lights in the huge space of the sky. Let them separate the day from the night. Let them . . . give light on the earth.”
Just like that, a fiery ball of light lifted high into the sky. The sun cast a brilliant radiance across the earth.
But as the day faded, a softer light glowed in the sky. Moonbeams stretched across the waters and crept over the land. Beyond the moon, countless stars shimmered, rank on rank, deeper and deeper into space.
“Oh, it’s good,” God whispered.
That evening and morning fit together as the fourth day, setting the stage for some amazing action.
“Let the seas be filled with living things,” God called out. “Let birds fly above the earth across the huge space of the sky.”
Immediately, oceans and lakes boiled with new life!
Dolphins leapt into the air.
Jellyfish trailed their tentacles, and clownfish darted in schools.
Sharks swam through the depths, even as high above, the skies came to life, too!
Eagles soared over nests on craggy rocks.
Parrots tried out their voices.
Gulls and cockatoos and robins streaked through the sky, trailing brilliant feathers.
“That is good!” God declared.
With splashes and flutters, evening turned back into morning, ending the fifth day.
And God spoke again, “Let the land produce every kind of living creature.”
With that, a circus was born! A safari came to life. The entire earth became a zoo.
Rhinos rumbled over the plains.
Lambs frolicked, and sloths meandered.
Dogs chased cats.
Lions and tiger and bears each found their own dens.
Every forest and field and desert and jungle on Earth burst with brand-new life.
“Oh, that is good!” God announced.
Using nothing as His canvas, God created everything. With only His voice as clay, God formed the entire world and all living things.
Creation was complete—except for one final detail. Something God had planned all along.
Or . . . someone.
Look around you. Name three things you see in the room or out the window.
Every single thing you see is made by God—or made out of something made by God. Here’s the mind-blowing thing: God made everything from nothing. God’s voice and imagination and being are so powerful that He simply thought up every single thing that exists and spoke it into being. And then He did something even more amazing. He gave human beings the imagination to take the things He had made and create new things— everything from triple chocolate brownies to iPads to your favorite series of books. So any time that you create—whether it’s a drawing or a LEGO® tower or a cool toy for your dog—you’re reflecting a little bit of who God is to the world around you. How awesome is that? Brainstorm together several ways that you can use what God made to create
something new this week. Then pick one and plan to do it! Together, ask God to help each of you to use what He has made in new and creative ways.
Creativity, Week 2
Creation Story, Part 2
God made you.
In the beginning, God created everything.
“Let there be light,” He called out.
At the sound of God’s voice, light blazed to life.
Oceans roared, and dry land heaved to the surface.
Plants and trees shot up from the rich dirt.
The sun and moon and stars and planets took their place in the heavens.
Birds and fish and animals of every kind filled the earth from pole to pole.
God looked at all He had created and saw that it was good.
But throughout all of God’s amazing creation, there was no one to take care of the fish and birds and animals.
No one to farm the earth.
No one who could love and think and feel and imagine like God.
So God got down in the rich, raw earth He had created. Taking the dusty dirt, He shaped and formed it until He molded a human being. And then God breathed the breath of life into the man.
The man became a living, breathing person! Adam.
God had planted a beautiful garden filled with trees and plants of all kinds in the Garden of Eden. He placed Adam there along the banks of the river.
“Take care of the land and farm it,” God told Adam.
But even though Adam lived in an amazing home with good work to do, an endless food supply, and animals of every kind for company, something was missing. Adam had no one like him to laugh with. No one to work with. No one to share his life with.
God saw that Adam was lonely. “It is not good for the man to be alone,” God said. “I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. As Adam slept, God removed one of Adam’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then God used the rib to form a woman and brought her to Adam.
“Hello?” said Eve.
Adam awoke with a jolt.
“Um . . . hi!” he said, rubbing his eyes. After all, he had never seen another human being. “Sorry, I just . . . how long have I been asleep? Must have slept on a rock or something. My side is kinda sore and . . . I’m talking too much, right?”
“I’m not sure,” Eve told him. “I’m new to this talking thing.”
God had created Adam and Eve in His own likeness. He blessed them and placed the whole world under their care.
Have children so that there will be many of you,” He said. “Fill the earth and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Rule over every living creature that moves along the ground . . . I am giving you every plant. . . . for food.”
When God was finished instructing Adam and Eve, He took a long look at everything He had made, from pebbles and beetles to mountain and giraffes—and people. And He saw that it was very good.
Evening turned to night, and the sixth day of creation came to a close.
On the seventh day, God rested from all His work. He blessed the seventh day and set it apart from the others.
For a time, Adam and Eve did just as God had told them. They cared for all God had created— and they enjoyed the friendship of God Himself.
God made everything out of nothing. Enough to blow your mind, right? He used only the sound of His voice.
But when He made people, He did something extra special. He formed the first person from dirt and breathed His very own breath into that man, Adam. People are the only creatures in all creation made in God’s very own image—able to think and feel and love and imagine like He does. And even before you were born, God had already thought you up, too. Take a few minutes and read Psalm 139:13-18 out loud together. How amazing is that?! God made you. You are the most precious part of God’s whole creation. And even more incredible, every person you will ever meet is made in God’s image, too. Share with each other a few unique and wonderful things you see about the way God has created the other person. Then together, ask God to help you use your imagination to reflect His image in all you say and do.
Creativity, Week 3
Adam's First Job
God made you to imagine.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth by the sound of His voice.
“Let there be light!” He called out.
Light flooded everywhere. Followed by an arching sky.
Frothing ocean waves.
Rustling, rippling trees and grasses.
And every insect and animal you can imagine.
But in all this amazing, brand-new creation, there was nothing that could love and think and feel and imagine the way God can. So God formed a human being in His very own likeness and breathed His very own breath into the man’s lungs.
God placed Adam in a beautiful garden in the Garden of Eden.
He was free to swim in the river.
Race with the wild animals.
And eat anything he wanted, except the fruit from one tree.
But God knew that Adam needed more. He needed creative work. He needed ways to use his imagination. So one afternoon as Adam rested in the shade of an olive tree, God brought him some animals.
“Hey there, fuzzy critters,” Adam said as several creatures crowded into his lap.
But he was soon overwhelmed by a cacophony of barks and howls and chirps and roars as more and more animals arrived. In fact, every animal and bird God had created soon appeared in front of Adam!
“What are all these things?” Adam asked in awe. “That striped one, and the tall one, and those spiky things . . . These creatures are all amazing, God. But why are they all right here, right now?”
“I want to see what names you will give them,” God said.
“Who, me?” Adam asked, surprised. “I’m just a guy. Who You made. I can’t make stuff out of nothing like You. But well . . . I guess I can think of things to call them . . .”
The animals crowded closer. They slunk and slithered and fluttered around Adam, each eager for his attention.
Adam took a deep breath and pointed. “Okay. You with the long neck. Head in the leaves. You look like a . . . giraffe!”
A brown, furry creature dropped down in front of Adam, swinging by its tail from the branch above. “Oh, you are definitely . . . a chimpanzee!” decided Adam.
Something with a lot of legs skittered up Adam’s arm. “Daddy long legs!” he cried. As the animals paraded past Adam, his imagination worked overtime.
“Hawk. A red-tailed hawk.”
“Mickey! I mean . . . mouse.”
As Adam paused for a quick drink from the river, he found himself grinning. “This is . . . fun, actually,” he admitted.
Adam considered every bird and animal until each one had a name. “And . . . zebra!” he announced as he studied one last striped beast.
Later, after God had formed the first woman, He gave both Adam and Eve amazing, creative work to do.
“Have children so that there will be many of you,” God told them. “Fill the earth and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Rule over every living creature that moves along the ground.”
“Where do we even start?” Eve wondered.
“I bet we could ride the ostriches if we trained them,” Adam declared.
“How about the horses? Four legs and all,” Eve pointed out.
“Let’s test it out,” Adam challenged. “I’ll choose an ostrich. You pick a horse.”
“And tomorrow we race!” agreed Eve.
Because God had made Adam and Eve in His own image, they had imaginations just like His. Though they couldn’t create something from nothing, they could take all God had made and imagine a limitless world of possibility.
You were made by an incredibly, unbelievably creative God.
And because He made you in His own image . . . that makes you creative, too! People are the only beings in all creation who have an imagination like God does. And God wants you to use it! Brainstorm together as many ways as you can think of to use your imagination. It doesn’t just have to be for things like drawing or telling stories. You can use your imagination to solve problems, to figure out your math homework, even to make friends! Each of you pick one specific, new way that you want to use your imagination this week. Then together, ask God to give you lots of opportunity and creativity to use your imaginations!
Creativity, Week 4
God made you to know Him.
On the sixth day of creation, God formed the very first person, Adam, and placed him in the Garden of Eden.
In the center of the garden grew a tree heavy with rich, ripe fruit. A single bite of this fruit would allow people to know the difference between good and evil. But God gave Adam clear instructions, “You may eat fruit from any tree in the garden. But you must not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you do, you will certainly die.”
Later, Adam shared God’s directions with the very first woman God created, Eve. “That’s it?” Eve might have asked. “Just one rule? Easy peasey.”
“Speaking of peas . . .” Adam noted, “What’s for dinner?”
“I thought it was your turn to make dinner,” Eve said.
“I can pick some tomatoes,” Adam offered.
“Corn on the cob?” Eve suggested.
“Hey! I’ll make veggie kabobs,” Adam decided.
Adam and Eve enjoyed their dinner just as they did every meal—fresh from the tree or the vine or the earth.
“We could finish off with some blueberries from those bushes down by the river,” Eve said. “Let’s go!” Adam agreed. “Maybe God will come talk with us.” Often, God met with Adam and Eve, speaking and walking with them as a friend.
As Adam and Eve passed through the center of the Garden, Eve couldn’t help straying closer to one of the trees in the very middle. Its fruit seemed to glow in the long evening sunlight.
Just then, Eve was startled by a voice in her ear. “Such a super evening, isn’t it?”
Turning, Eve saw a sleek serpent twisted around one of the tree branches nearby. “This fruit is so succulent,” it crooned. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden’?”
“Oh, no,” Eve responded quickly. “We can eat fruit from the trees here. But God did say, ‘You must not eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. Do not even touch it. If you do, you will die.’”
The serpent crept closer along the branch, tongue flicking in and out. “You will certainly not die,” it hissed. “God knows when you eat fruit from that tree, you will know things you have never known before. Like God, you will be able to tell the difference between good and evil.”
Eve glanced at Adam, watching from a short distance away. Neither of them said what they were thinking: Why would God keep something good from them? It didn’t seem fair.
Eve reached out a finger to touch the silky fruit. She could practically taste it on her tongue. “God would want us to be wise, right?” she asked. And before either of them could answer, she snapped off the fruit and took a bite.
“What’s it like?” Adam demanded.
“I can’t . . . there’s no way to describe it,” Eve said. “You’ve got to try.” She handed the fruit to Adam, who took a big bite as well.
“Whoa!” Adam said. “That is . . . well, I’m not sure . . .”
As the first taste of the fruit faded in their mouths, doubt began to flood their minds. Adam and Eve suddenly knew things they’d never known before. But above all else, they knew they’d just broken their friendship with God. They could feel it. And it felt absolutely awful.
Eve felt a bone-deep chill. “I . . . we’re not wearing clothes, Adam.”
“Oh. You’re right,” Adam said, noticing the same thing for the first time.
Eve grabbed a handful of leaves from a nearby tree. “Here, quick. These fig leaves. We can stitch them together with grass.”
Adam and Eve had barely finished patching together leafy outfits before they heard footsteps. And again, the two felt something they had never felt before—fear. It was another terrible feeling.
“It’s Him!” Eve whispered. “God!”
They scrambled for cover among the fig trees.
“Adam,” God said. “Where are you?”
Adam shrank back behind the tree trunk, but Eve elbowed him hard in the side. He cleared his throat and said, “I heard you in the garden . . . I was afraid because I was naked. So I hid.”
“Who told you that you were naked?” God asked. “Have you eaten fruit from the tree I commanded you not to eat from?”
“It’s the fault of the woman you put here with me,” Adam protested. “She gave me some fruit from the tree. And I ate it.”
Eve shot Adam a look.
“Eve,” God said. “What have you done?”
“It wasn’t my fault,” Eve complained. “The serpent tricked me.”
God was brokenhearted. He had made Adam and Eve to be His friends. To know and trust Him and be close to Him. Instead, they had chosen not to listen to Him, breaking His only rule, which was only meant to keep them safe. He was deeply hurt. God still loved them, but Adam and Eve had shattered their perfect friendship with Him.
“You must leave the garden,” God told them. “From now on, you will work hard for your food and face great pain. Someday, you will die and become like the dust you were made from.”
Adam and Eve had chosen their own path instead of following God. Sin entered into the world. Now they had to struggle in the heat and dust to grow the food that had come so easily in the garden. And only a miracle from God could make a way for people to be perfect friends with Him again.
God made Adam and Eve to know Him. To be His friends.
But when they broke the one rule that God had given them to keep them safe—they broke that friendship, too. Because of that, every person alive has been born into a broken world. Like Adam and Eve, we all make choices that cause God pain. But here’s the incredible thing: God has made a way for us to be friends with Him again. He sent His very own Son, Jesus, to pay the price for the wrong things each of us has done and to give us new, clean hearts. And because of that, we don’t have to hide from God! When we choose to believe in what Jesus has done, and receive the new, clean heart that He gives us, we can come close to God again. We can talk to Him anytime and know that He will answer. We can spend time with Him and learn to know Him. Together, think about specific things that you can do to know God better. Then together, ask God to show you ways this week to know Him better and become His friend.