The question of Creation is a debate that occurs not just between atheists and Christians but even amongst Christians. Did God create the world in 6 literal days or are they symbolic days. Questions are raised that if they are 24 hour days then how were those days determined if the Sun, Moon and Stars were only created on day four as Genesis itself says – 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. Sadly what is lost in this debate – as often happens when we debate things we disagree with – is the blessing that come from an understanding that God is our Creator who made the heavens and earth and all that exists.
Let us refresh our understanding of the significance of this first chapter of Genesis and what it means that God is our Creator: Day One – God said, “let there be light”. Let us understand what this light it as we often misunderstand it as the light that we experience during daytime. But that wouldn’t make sense as this light that we call daytime only came on day 4 when God created the sun, moon and stars to make distinction between night and day. This is the light of God’s presence in the world – the very first of God’s creation without which no creation would be possible. This light is the assurance that God’s presence is in the very world we experience each day even if we don’t realise that God is present with us. It is the glory of the Lord that was experienced by Israel with the pillar of fire to lead them out of Egypt – the glory of the Lord that descended as a glory cloud when God met with Moses. It is the fire that came upon the Apostles as tongues of fire when the Holy Spirit came upon them. This is the light where God separated the light from the darkness in John’s Gospel where John explains the same presence of Jesus Christ in the world.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all humankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John links this light with creation – the life and light of all humankind. This is the light that took the chaos in the beginning when the world was void and empty and brought order. This is the presence of God in our lives that brings meaning and purpose to life.
This is the same presence of God in our lives that brings order and harmony in our lives. And from that foundation the rest of creation begins: Even when there is turmoil and disruption in your life, God’s presence comes and returns that peace that the world cannot give – the peace that goes beyond all understanding – let there be light. The light of Christ that breaks the darkness of the world which is affirmed by Jesus when he says – I AM the light of the world – and then Jesus sends you – you are the light of the world.
And from that first day of Creation God then begins to shape that order in life just as God shapes order into our lives – creating dry land to allow the growth of trees and vegetation. Then life is possible through birds of the air – fish in the sea – animals to roam the earth. And then the peak of creation – human beings – you and me – made in his image. Human beings created to care for the world and to be blessed by the world and all it produces. Being created in God’s image means we have unity with God – oneness with God. It’s what is known as “Shalom” in the Hebrew bible. A special relationship that Satan ruined through sin through deception when he got Eve to believe that being “like” God was better than being created in the image of God.
So we too need to be aware of anything that diminishes just how special we are to God as his creation – created in his image. God has created order and peace in the world and in our lives. And the Holy Trinity examples that peace and order. And that’s what Paul says also today: Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace – shalom; and the God of love and peace will be with you. And, he says, by this, The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit – the Holy Trinity – be with all of you.
We might feel a little disappointed if we were expecting today’s reading to explain what the Trinity is. Unlike the past few weeks where things like The Ascension and Pentecost were quite easily detected in the Bible Readings, an explanation of the Trinity falls well short in today’s readings. Instead our Bible readings talk about relationships because that is exactly what the Trinity is about – relationships. We don’t try and understand “what” the Trinity is but rather “who” the Trinity is. And that’s what we discover in our Bible readings that the Trinity is about relationships. Firstly within God and then with one another. That God has revealed himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit – an interpersonal relationship which we describe as One God in Three Person – Trinity – Triune- Tri-Unity. And then God calls us to live that unity with one another.
So our first reading describes that interpersonal unity of relationship in the beginning of Creation. You might not initially see it but here in the first 3 verses we see the Trinity at work although not mentioned. That God created the Heavens and the Earth. That’s how our creeds begin – I believe in God the Father maker of heaven and earth. Then we see the Holy Spirit hovering over the chaotic waters of the void earth looking to bring order out of chaos which Jesus did on that day when the disciples were locked away in fear – in chaos. He stood among them and said – peace be with you – shalom. And he breathed on them and said – receive the Holy Spirit. And now the world is ready and prepared for creation: God does this through his Word: Let there be light. This light is the Word that was in the beginning as John told us: In the beginning was the Word and the word was with God and the word was God – and the word became flesh and dwelt among us. And Jesus promises that in our Baptism he dwells with us forever – I am with you always till the end of the age.
So whatever is happening in your life. Whatever is causing any turmoil or chaos – God comes to you in a relationship to bring peace. To bring Shalom. Every time we worship God invites you to share his heavenly Sabbath – his day of rest to reset your life to prepare you for the week ahead. The Trinity is a model of beauty and peace where God dwells in harmony as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and invites you to come and rest in him and live in his peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.