Heathdale flower 10th June 2021

Wondrous Design

How our Creator God gives meaning to us all.

Heathdale flower

Image: The above 2021 AFL Indigenous guernseys were designed by Yamatji Martu woman Emma Macneill (North Melbourne), Pitjantjantjara and Yankuntjantjara woman Justine Ronberg (Hawks), Yorta Yorta and Gunnai man Dixon Patten (Collingwood), and Gunditjmara woman Laura Thompson.

For the past two weeks the AFL has held The Sir Doug Nichols rounds which are rounds dedicated to celebrating the contribution our First Nations people have made to our uniquely Australian game of Aussie Rules. As part of this round, each team gets to wear a uniquely-designed jersey that honours Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Fascinated by this year’s design, I was doing some research on the different Indigenous jumpers worn by the team I support and came across a YouTube clip which spoke about the backstory of the 2017 design. The artist who created the artwork, Sarrita King, spoke of how she fit the various elements of the design together to tell a story. It really helped me to understand and appreciate how Sarrita took various images and icons to create not only a magnificent artwork, but also one that has a deep story.

It occurred to me that this creative talent in Sarrita all began with our creative God. From the opening pages of the scriptures, a story is told of how our God brought all these different elements together as part of His grand design to make it possible for you and I to enter into a close and intimate relationship with Him.

“First this: God created the Heavens and Earth - all you see, all you don't see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss. God spoke: "Light!" And light appeared.

God saw that light was good and separated light from dark. God named the light Day, he named the dark Night. It was evening, it was morning - Day One.

God spoke: "Sky! In the middle of the waters; separate water from water!"

God made sky. He separated the water under sky from the water above sky. And there it was: he named sky the Heavens; It was evening, it was morning - Day Two.”

Genesis 1:1-8 (The Message)

As we read this incredible creation story, one of the most thrilling discoveries we can make in our study of the scriptures, is to see the way God reveals Himself to us. The Old Testament, originally written in Hebrew, contains meanings which are sometimes lost in translation, and this is especially true in connection with the many names of God.

In the opening verse of the Bible, the focus is on one of the significant names of God. When it states, “First this: God created the Heavens and Earth - all you see, all you don't see.” The Hebrew word for God is ‘Elohim’ and points to the One who possess all divine powers. Imagine for a moment if the Bible didn’t start the way it does and focus us on God as the almighty Creator. What if the opening sentence was: ‘In the beginning the heaven and the earth came together of their own accord’. Please excuse me if this appears irreverent. It would be a spine-chilling thought as it would lay an ice-cold hand on all of our hopes and endeavours and give us, as one able and earnest man once said, “a sense of cosmic loneliness”. If there was no Creator behind the universe then I cannot be sure that my life has any cosmic backing, if I am working with anything significant or just working meaninglessly alone with no-one to back my work or even care. How sad this would be.

Life can only be meaningful when it has meaningful resources. If there is no divine Creator, as described in Genesis 1, then life is meaningless. If however, there is a Creator then all of life takes on a new and wondrous meaning.

How blessed we are to come and know and begin to understand God’s name of Elohim. He is the Creator God, of not only this world but also of our community. As we continue to journey together let us be a community that recognises, honours and glorifies our Creator.