Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a
Today we are spending some time with the idea of Holy Trinity… the manifestation of the God source into three unique, fully-integrated cosmic and divine forces. Your description may include Father, Son, Holy Spirit; Mother, Friend, Comforter; Creator, Redeemer Sustainer. Each one of us has our own idea of what Trinity represents and how it works in our lives. We approach the Trinity today from the biblical story of Creation as Bev read from Genesis 1. And we have known this story most likely: God up in the far reaches of the heavens decides to create… in the biblical reading, a day is set aside for each creative act… one element gives way to another… there’s a void, there’s water, then land, then plants and animals and finally humans. We know what we know… we know that the earth is around 4.6 Billion Years old. Science confirms this for us. One only has to look out the window and see all the landforms of the Okanagan to appreciate the volcanoes, the mountain-building, the glaciers which contributed in their own slow time to the landscape we enjoy today. And our environment continues to be changed and evolve, often unbeknownst to us. What does Creation have to do with the Trinity?
I believe that the Trinity calls us into being… not as an isolated people each living on our own islands, but rather a people made for Community. Humanity appeared when the earth was able to sustain and see thriving life forms, with humans at the top of the food chain. We need each other, and as you may recall from last week, we need a variety of gifts to be healthy and productive. But this means being in relationship with our environment, both physical and social.
The past two weeks, we have taken a hard look at what it means to live in community. George Floyd’s murder at the hands of authorities have us all calling into question how we honor and relate to one another. No longer can we ignore the calls for political and social change to address the systemic anti Black racism. The time to act is now, and the begins by examining our position of privilege and how we have used that to suppress the Other in our midst. George Floyd’s death and the protesting that has ensued reminds us yet again that safety and protection and dignity are not guaranteed for all. The Black community is fed up with fighting for an end to the racism it continues to experience despite our shouts that Black Lives Matter. Organized change is needed. I read an excellent editorial from Adele Halliday, a General Council staff person that you will want to read. She speaks as a person of color to those of us who are white. She asks us to examine our positions of privilege and how we have benefited from those. Adele eloquently and passionately speaks of her fury at the George Floyd video, the grief that tears at her over parents who must bury their Black children. I will share the link to her writing in the chat box following the service.
We live in a world that has seen creation in upheaval with COVID, economic collapse, and police brutality. Our society is becoming increasingly compartmentalized and we align ourselves according to our views and beliefs. We say we are in this together… but I think that statement is going to be heard less and less as we go forward. Some of us will return to life as we knew it… and some of us won’t due to loss of livelihoods and economic security. Many will continue to live with racism and fear for their lives because of the color of their skin. Despite the turmoil our world is experiencing, it is a time for some reflection on how we form community together. I found some encouragement in Richard Rohr’s emails this week on the subject of Alternative Community. He looked at key factors into creating a healthy and whole community. He encourages the creation of spaces for people to grow as individuals while acknowledging that no single group can be all things to all people. But ultimately connectedness to others is the goal of the spiritual journey. We are at our best when we come close to what Creation intended… to live together in synergistic ways, where renewal is a constant process and results in a sharing of resources when pooled together are so much greater than on their own.
If I subscribe to the belief that I am created in the image of God, then the Trinity is part of me. Mind, body, spirit have an intra-connection within. Genesis 1 and 2 speaks of the creation of the world as an act of God that is not about the recounting of the origin of the world but rather it brings to our heart and mind the possibility that creation is imbedded with God’s unconditional love. The Genesis Creation story gives me a great sense of peace and solace. It also reminds me to take time to give thanks and appreciate with awe and wonder all that I am part of. It is also a wake up call that I have a responsibility to the community I share space with, as a steward to both the physical and the social environments I inhabit. This is my ongoing creation story. And what about you? What is your creation story?
We hear in the Genesis passage that God looked at creation and declared it good the story tells us. It is still GOOD. May this be our prayer. The Trinity is not a once and for all, one-size-fits-all idea. But rather is an organic and fluid evolvement of the created home we find ourselves part of. We are co-creators… you and I… May love and compassion be at the heart of our community which we create… unity in our diversity… many in one. Amen and Amen.