“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1 – 2)
Holy Presence. I said it was present at the dawning of creation – and here is the passage. I tell you truly, beloved reader, I did not know it was coming as a part of this week’s RCL passage. I did not know, but am thrilled that the Holy Presence nudged my mind to think about it at the beginning of my reflections on Pentecost. But, we are at Trinity Sunday, so let us consider that. This is the Sunday (and in our case the week before the Sunday) when we consider and celebrate the Triune aspect of the Divine – Creator/Parent, Redeemer/Savior/Teacher, & Holy Presence. They were all here at the beginning.
“Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” (Verses 3 – 5)
Jesus was, as many called him, a light to the world. And Christians are to be a light to the world. There is also the concept of “the dark night of the soul” which can be a prelude to new understandings and awakening for the Christian life. The point I am trying to make is that the aspect of creation can also found in the Christian life. And that the aspects of the Trinity are also grounded in creation.
“And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.” (Verses 6 – 10)
The Lord Creator was organizing the raw materials that may already have been present in the dark formless void. Jesus Christ was sent to help us organize our will and impulses to conform and honor the Creator. And the Holy Presence came to help us keep our hearts, soul, and mind so organized. And to inspire us to spread this way of thinking and living. Imagine that, beloved reader, we not only part of creation but help to keep creation and humanity flowing along. It is an awesome and overwhelming task – which is why the Holy Spirit was sent.
“Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. God made the two great lights–the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night–and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth,8 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.” (Verses 11 – 19)
It is interesting to consider that the Creator renamed the aspects of the God-self to better watch over the different parts of creation, and humanity. Faith traditions have names for the divinity or divinities that watch over its adherents. We may think that Christianity has the only “correct” nomenclature for faith and beliefs. After all, we say, Judea-Christian biblical figures are the ones that are the spiritual forebearers that God called out and that we look to. And the bible lands are where faith sprang forth. We would be partially right, and partially wrong. Faith springs up where the Divine plants seeds of faith. Where we have a Triune Deity, other faith traditions have their own deity aspects and I for one will not and can not say my heritage is the better path to the Divine. That we find our way is the important part, not the that each journey is uniform.
“And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Verses 20 – 25)
Each aspect and creature in creation is important. When some species have become extinct, it is a loss. With loss comes change, and change can impel growth and development. Our current existence is proof of this. With the global virus that sprung up from a source not human we have seen in a very short period of time changes. Changes that are meant to help us survive, and changes that have the potential to divide us.
“Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Verses 26 – 27)
Dominion over . . . . now that is an adorable concept . . . . that we have control over creation. But let us step back for just a moment while I tell you another truth. The Genesis story is but one creation story amongst many stories of how the world was formed, how vegetation came about, and humanity and non-human creatures came to walk the earth. In some of those stories I suspect that control was not ceded over to humanity. Moreover, in this Judea-Christian creation story Adam and Eve lost control when they were forced from the garden. And instead of creation supplying them with all of their needs, they needed to wrest from creation what they needed. And to be quite blunt, we have not been able to work will with creation ever since. God ceded control of the earth to us, and since then our misguided attempts have been less than a 100% success. That humanity has survived and thrived is only due to the fact that the Triune Divine planted within us alone the spark of Divinity. Now I say this not suggesting that animals are any less precious and do not have their own eternal aspect.
“God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Verses 28 – 31)
All things were in balance. Land and sea, earth and sky, day and night, Adam and Eve. Each had their place and were equally essential to creation. And the Lord God Creator over all of it.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.” (Chapter 2 verses 1 – 4a)
So what happened?! The balance was not maintained. And quite honestly, I do not think the Lord God Creator meant for the balance to continue on . . . . eternally.
If you would scroll back up you would see that I said loss means change and change has the potential for growth. The Lord God Creator said Adam and Eve were to be fruitful and multiply, filling all of creation. In other words, they were not to be stable and unchanging but were to grow and mature as the rest of creation was supposed to. At some point, however, they would outgrow the confines of the garden. Humanity was not to have a limited existence. Humanity was given potential. The same potential, actually as the dark formless void that the Lord God Creator started with. We still have that potential, beloved reader. Within us is the spark of the Divine. Whatever happens, it will not be extinguished. The sins of Adam and Eve propelled them forward to live in a challenging world, using the resources and skill that were within them. The Lord God Creator saw within humanity the desire to be reunited with the Divine, and called that out in all the figures from the bible, and from other circles of faith.
Moreover, in the Lord God Creator was also the Lord God Jesus Christ and the Spirit of the Lord God. It is that we celebrate today. And let us celebrate also that the Divine placed something within each of us that is a image of that Divinity. We live in challenging days, beloved reader. But we are not alone. The Triune Divine is with us, and within the Divine as it was at the time of creation is all that we need! Selah and Shalom!