In the Beginning God created... - Charlotte Villa
The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. Amen
These are the final words from St. Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians
They are fitting words which are part of the selected readings for this coming Sunday - Trinity Sunday
Trinity Sunday in which the church honours the three persons of God
Trinity Sunday – is the Sunday after Pentecost – Pentecost the birthday of the church
Where the disciples gathered were filled with the Holy Spirit and began proclaiming in different tongues the Good News
‘Trinity Sunday’ presents me with its own challenges for preaching
For many the notion of the “Trinity” is something not very pressing to everyday life
However the goal of the preacher is to translate the Word of God and connect it to the hearers
This week we also have the opportunity to hear the account of creation from the first chapter of Genesis – The creation story is not about a domesticated God
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth
We didn’t create God, God created …
From God’s overflowing of creativity… God created
Our creation reading today draws us into the mystery of a God who creates and sustains and who made us in his own image.
The truths we learn here are beyond simplicity, beyond the world of facts.
They pierce into the mystery of a truth beyond our understanding.
In that first chapter we get a beautiful poetic glimpse into one of the most powerful stories ever declared
When we read it out loud, we hear its rhythm, its resonance, its beat.
And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day
See its imagery, hear its sounds
“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.”
“Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.”
“Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.”
“Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness;
The author’s purpose was to offer a poetic theological reflection on creation, on the nature of its creatures,
and most importantly on the God who brought it all into being.
One outlook is to understand the first chapter to serve as a splendid introduction to the book of Genesis as a whole and an important contextual beginning to the entire Bible.
It declares that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is no mere localized or tribal deity,
But the sovereign Lord of the whole earth.
The apparently petty and insignificant family stories that occupy the bulk of the book are in fact of cosmic consequence,
For God has chosen these people so that through them all the nations of the earth should be blessed.
The creation of the heavens and the earth and all things within it, are the beginnings of God relationship with us
But the Bible doesn’t end there and Trinity Sunday is not solely about God the creator
In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear an account of the Great commission
Jesus declares: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The dominion we exercise must be understood in the way of Jesus of Nazareth – the Christ
In parallel to Genesis where we are “sent” to be fruitful and subdue and have dominion,
In Matthew we are “sent” in the word “Go”
We have a mission – it is with the power of the Holy Spirit and so is a …co-mission…
To rule as Jesus ruled
To rule as the one who serves.
The task of the shepherd is not to control but to lay down his life for the sheep
Jesus in his final instructions gives us the ministry to follow in His way
In baptizing and making followers in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
We are sent out to be fruitful in the name of the Lord
In other words, we promise to strengthen our faith and seeking to help bring God's love into the world. We are created to be sent out co-creating in God’s love
You see Trinity Sunday is not just one day each year but our role and response everyday - Amen