Today, we celebrate Trinity Sunday – the Trinity is the Christian doctrine that defines God as existing as three coequal, coeternal, divine persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.  In the first story of the creation of our world, the members of the “God Head” were all present – God created the Heavens and the Earth, God’s Holy Spirit hovered over the waters and was the Spirit in the midst of creation, and God referred to the creation of humans as being in “our” likeness – like Jesus.

            Listen to the story and how each of the parts of God are represented as we turn to Genesis Chapter 1, through Chapter 2, verse 4:

Proclamation of the Scripture            Genesis 1:1-2:4a

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 

God saw that the light was good, and he 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.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 

So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 

God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 

God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 

The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. 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 vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 

and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 

God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 

God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 

to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 

And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 

So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 

God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 

And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 

God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 

And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

Here ends this reading of the word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Prayer of Illumination

Pastor: God, you have spoken through your Living Word, Jesus Christ. Your Spirit speaks through the Scriptures. Grant us understanding through what we see in Jesus and hear in the Scriptures that we may know your will and follow your way.           

Message                                          This is Good

            Have you hung out with a toddler lately?  They have lots of energy, are a little OCD, and are full of questions.  They want to know where they were before they were born, if the color they see as blue is the same color their sister sees as blue, and why they can’t see their eyes when they look out of them. Just as little kids have questions they endlessly ask, humanity has also asked big questions about how everything on earth and in the heavens works since time immortal. Just as toddlers want to know where they came from, people have wanted to know where we all come from, where humanity comes from, and how the earth was created.

            Our Bible has texts that works to answer these questions. We have two creation stories present in the book of Genesis. Although they are different, most Christians are comfortable merging them together into one metanarrative. This morning, we read the first of the two creation stories. In today’s text, God created the earth in 6 days. On the seventh day, God rested from all of the work of creating. In this version of the creation story, God made light on day one, the sky and the waters of the earth on day two, the land and vegetation on day 3, the sun, moon and stars on day 4, the sea creatures and birds on day five, and the land animals and human beings on day 6. I remembered feeling troubled when I was a child about how we could have light for a few days without the sun, but I am sure anything is possible with God. And, I have also assumed that what is a day for God is eons to human beings. Although our astronomers and biologists have come up with much more specific dates for how long ago the creatures have evolved on earth, we learn in our science classes that life did begin in the seas and mammals evolved long after the evolution of reptiles and fish. So, if we overlay scientific understanding with the creation story in the first chapter of Genesis, everything correlates, as long as we don’t worry about the light and adjust the time frame.

            On Trinity Sunday, the part of this story we focus on is that God was present, in Trinitarian from, from the beginning.  God was in the universe before humanity, before the earth, before the Big Bang. A few weeks ago, Maya asked me where God was before the universe was created….this is difficult for us to understand because we think about things in a very concrete way, but God has always been. God is always. There is no universe without God. There was no big bang without God. There was no earth without God. There was no humanity without God.

            And, part of what breaks our brains, and is difficult for us to understand, is that God is not a simple being.  It is not like people – we are pretty predictable. We are conceived, we grow in our mother’s womb, we are born, we grow and change and transform from babies to children to teenagers to young adults to middle aged adults to older people….we are linear as we live through time. God is not linear. God is more.

            The doctrine of the Trinity was developed to help us understand, to help us conceive of, how God is more – more than a person, more than a creator, more than spirit, more than we can possibly understand. God is eternal, lives forever in and out of time, invincible, and omnipotent – God knows everything. The twenty—fifth hymn in our Hymnal, “Immortal, Invisible” by Walter Chalmers Smith, tries to capture this sentiment:

            Immortal, Invisible, God only wise,

            In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,

Most blessed, most glorious, the ancient of Days,

Almighty, victorious– Thy great name we praise.

In order to help us understand God, the Trinitarian concept of God was developed. God is our Creator, God is our Redeemer, God is our Sustainer – God made us and everything on earth; God came to us in the form as a man, Jesus the Christ, to teach us how to follow God’s teachings and to appreciate that God loves us and forgives us our sins; and God supports us and sustains us and encourages us all of the time as the Holy Spirit aspect of God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – God made us, teachers us, and keeps us going.

            God was present before the earth was an idea in the mind of God. Genesis chapter one is not the oldest portion of the Bible. It was written in the 4th century BC. But, when the editors of the Old Testament assembled the book in the format we use today, they put the creation stories at the beginning of the book – we are very linear – this made sense to them – it makes sense to us. And, this story points out that God in Trinitarian form has always existed – God is complicated in ways we find impossible to understand, but God is the Creator of everything we know; God came to be on earth as Jesus – we were created on the model of Jesus; and the Spirit of God is present on earth from the beginning of creation and is present here today to guide and nurture us.

            We praise God in Trinitarian form – our Creator, our Savior, and our Sustainer. Amen!