This past Sunday I was a guest preacher for a local church. My Scripture text was from Genesis 1 – 2:4. It was the first account of the creation of the heavens and earth, and of life. It is such a beautiful, poetic writing of how God took something that was empty and void, chaotic – and created order.
Throughout this creation story we hear how God spoke a word and with that word, God created:
1:3 God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
1:6 God said, "Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."
1:9 God said, "Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear."
1:11 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."
1:14 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 …”
1:26 God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, … “
God spoke, and after each word, scripture tells us, “it was so.”
And God saw that it was good.
As I sit here at my desk this morning, looking down from my third-floor window, I see trees that have finally filled out with so many green leaves I can’t see the golf course like I could just a couple of weeks ago. There is also the Red Cedar River that flows between the property of our apartment complex and the golf course. I watch ducks swim past in little family units. Birds are flying from branch to branch, singing their morning songs. The air is warm with a slight breeze and the sky is as blue as I’ve ever seen it.
I think of that song that was my mother’s favorite – What a Wonderful World.
My mind is still full of this creation story today and I’m reflecting on who God is. This is God, who creates with a spoken Word. Imagine this Creator, this Artist, who has amazing vision for a universe that did not exist until God spoke it. This God must be pure joy and love! I can’t help but think of God as playful too. Imagine the animals – the hippos and the alligators, the mosquitoes and the honey bees, the camels, the elephants, the zebra with its striped pajamas! That list of interesting animals, fish, birds – even SEA MONSTERS! – goes on and on. God, while serious about creating must have a playful side. And then I think God must also have a good sense of humor, because God created humans. All unique and diverse, different skin colors, different hair and eyes and features – different, yet the same in many ways. He gave us minds to think and to choose, hearts that love when we are most like God, but we can – and do – choose to hate, often times just as easily. We do smart and wonderful things, but we can also do some very dumb things. We are like children.
God must laugh at times, yet I wonder if God also has great sorrow at how we treat one another and how we treat God’s creation.
Sunday was the day on the liturgical calendar that is known as Trinity Sunday. Many Christians confess that God is One God, yet three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the creation story we hear of God the Creator, speaking the creation into being. We read about the Ruach – the Wind, the Spirit of God – sweeping over the formless, void earth. God says “Let us make humans in our image.” Is that us the Trinity?
In the first chapter of the gospel of John we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1-2
God, the Son – Jesus Christ – is the Word made flesh; the Word that became human like us so we would know God, know God’s love and God’s commandments, so we would have grace and salvation because of the sacrificial love shown to us on the cross.
The Word of God is powerful enough to create, to come to us in the flesh, to raise Jesus from the tomb, to be present with us by the Holy Spirit that helps us to discern when God is guiding us and speaking to us in our lives.
Our words have power too. Think about it. When we speak, we can build up and affirm or we can tear down and destroy another person. We can speak out for justice and good; we can speak healing and words of peace. Or we can do the opposite and speak harm.
Can our words make us partners with God in the ongoing creation? Can we speak love and joy; can we speak out truth and good; can we laugh and dance and cry with our Creator God and, in doing so, participate in the dance of creation with God – the Father, Creator, Sustainer; with God the Son, the Savior, Redeemer; and God the Holy Spirit, the Ruach, the Comforter, Encourager and Guide?
In spite of the chaos we see today, we can make a difference with our words and actions. And even though things seem ugly and hopeless at times, I hope you will look for beauty and know God is with us in this wonderful, beautiful world. I invite you to listen as Cindy Powell sings, What a Wonderful World.