Bible Text: Psalm 104:5-23 Isaiah 55:6-13 | Preacher: Rev. Harry Klassen Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. Genesis 1:26-28 Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ Genesis 2:15-18 [part of second creation account] The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’ Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’ Just to review from last week. Humanity was created in the image of God, male and female. Not only is it not good for the Adam [dust or earth] to be alone, he is not yet fully human until the female comes into being. Brueggemann in his commentary on Genesis posits three things about the garden scene. Humanity is given: i) Vocation - They are placed in the garden to ‘till it and keep it.’ While the garden is in every way lush and abundant in its growth, it requires managing. The force of the word keep is like ‘shepherding.’ To preserve, maintain, to be stewards of God’s good creation. ii) Permission: Humans have radical freedom. They can eat of anything in the garden and the animal kingdom is under their control. Not for exploitation, but rather for careful stewardship. Freedom equates to the risk that God took in creating the creatures who have the potential of aspiring to divinity, replacing God with themselves. iii) Prohibition: The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Hebrew merismus meaning everything from A to Z. In other words, become like God. Here we need to remember the abundance of the garden; the humans have no need for requiring this fruit. If they can accept with gratitude that they have been placed in this delightful garden to enjoy and flourish, all will be well. The prohibition reminds the human, that she/he are creatures, not the creator. However, they have possibilities of being related to the creator and can enter into fellowship with the creator. Herein lies the problem. Humans have been given dominion because they have the possibility of forming communities; they have a relational capacity that the animal world does not have to the same extent. Although their origing may be the same, i.e. form dust, they have the possibility of conversing with each other and their maker in a way that animals cannot replicate. It is tempting to take that sovereignty over the created order of things and use it for our own selfish purposes. This scripture which states that humankind has dominion and can subdue the earth has been blamed for many of the ecological problems we are now facing. However the critique misses the mark, for humanity has been given dominion all the while reflecting the image of God. In other words we have dominion in the manner which God exercises dominion - giving to us abundance; radical freedom and ultimate care. When the disciples dispute the issue of greatness, Jesus gives them the cue to understanding how to exercise ‘dominion or sovereignty.’ Mark 10:41-45 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’ Clearly, the mandate about ‘dominion’ has a different edge to it, when placed in the context of discipleship and being a steward of God’s good earth. Our problem has not been the concept of dominion. Rather we have exercised that dominion in ways which serve our own selfish ends. Taking liberties with the earth’s resources, we have devised ever more sophisticated ways to exploit this beautiful planet, whether we are discussion tar sands, coal mining, fracking or whatever. Our record is no better when we consider the animal kingdom with its ever growing list of endangered or exterminated species. One Example: When the white man saw the seemingly endless supply of buffalo on the prairies, his penchant was to indiscriminately slaughter them, often for no good reason. Whereas the aboriginal communities had managed them carefully for centuries of time, the buffalo were now facing extinction. Ask any Newfoundlander what has happened to the cod in light of the massive fishing trawlers scooping up what used to be an endless supply of fish. Does Jesus spend much time on such issues? ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. Matthew 6:25-29 What Jesus illustrates is that the creator has concern for all creatures, even the birds of the air. Remember the old spiritual: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.” Working on a slave plantation, this may not have been much comfort, but it did give some sense of hope, that under the master’s whip there was a God who would ultimately bring justice to bear. But note as well the keen observation about the lilies of the field. So Solomon who was king in the glory days of ancient Israel with his magnificent building projects, including the temple in Jerusalem, cannot match the intricacy and beauty of a common field lily. This too, is part of the garden called planet earth. So we struggle with so much in our current environment. Global warming is heaping ever more natural disasters upon us, but some still debate whether it is really happening. Where does one go to find clean air? When I studied in Pasadena, California in the sixties, the smog often meant that people could not see Mt. Wilson, over 1500 meters, at the end of our street. When it rained which was very infrequent, it was like waking up to a whole new city. “I can see.” There is much doom and gloom out there when it comes to plotting a way forward. Some will even ask if it is too late to do anything about global warming. While it is true that we can reach an irreversible tipping point, many small strides can make a huge difference. Part of our difficulty in North America has to do with wealth. When I was in Malawi, they were not worried about carbon emissions from cars - there were so few. People walked or rode bicycles if they could afford them. But here, I am embarrassed to say that even in our family, car rides were taken to the local gym [a 20 minute walk]. It requires an attitudinal shift that may be difficult to effect in a rich continent because of a sense of entitlement. On the CBC radio program “the current” this week, they talked about a study regarding wealth and the social fabric. One experiment that intrigued me was done in Los Angeles where they observed a pedestrian crosswalk with pedestrians having the right of way. Those driving BMWs tended not to stop whereas those driving lesser cars, did. Apparently those with more wealth have a sense of entitlement and ownership rather than expressing concern for their neighbour. But here is the point. God created a very good world. It is a world in which humankind reflect the divine image when they live in community [not good to be alone] and in peace and harmony. Our God given vocation is to till the garden and manage it for the sake of all. While humans have severely marred the good creation, subjecting it to futility and bondage to decay, there is hope. Listen to what the apostle Paul has to say: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:18-25 In other words the entire created order participates in the exciting day when the new heaven and new earth comes into being; - “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.” In the meantime, if you and I claim to be Christian and related to the creator God, we need to do everything in our power and ability to relieve some of the groaning of creation. God saw everything that God had made, and it was VERY GOOD!
Bible Text: Genesis 2:4-25, Matthew 8:5-13 | Preacher: Rev. Harry Klassen Genesis 1:26 Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 2:4 In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’ Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’ So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.’ Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed. NRSV From two weeks ago you may recall that the reading from Genesis 1 was highly codified, with a refrain throughout: it was evening, it was morning, the first day. And it was good. This continued throughout to the sixth day with the pronouncement it was very good culminating in the creation of the Sabbath. But during the sixth day, a dramatic pause occurs after the series of “Let there be, and there was.” It now gives way to a different statement entirely. Is God willing to take the risk of creating humans in God’s own image, after God’s likeness? When God says “Let us make humanity in our image” this is not an ancient reference to Trinity, but rather to the ‘plural of majesty’ as when the queen may use the expression ‘we’ when referring to herself only. In Hebrew, a different verb form is used for ‘make.’ Our reading today reflects the earliest version of the creation account. This primeval story was passed on from generation to generation and represents a very ancient tradition, whereas the codified and systematised rendering of Genesis 1:1-2:4 may come from a period as late as the 6th Century B.C.E. Misinterpretations abound with reference to this passage in Genesis. First of all, we need to understand that the theory of evolution does not contradict anything the Bible says. Clearly God develops the human existence in common with other earth creatures from the dust of the ground which as we know from science has taken billions of years. As Helmut Thielicke observes: “ ...I can ask where man comes from biologically, and receive the answer that he comes from animal forms. Or I can ask why he is here, what is his destiny, what is the ‘role assigned to him? If I put the question this way I get the answer from the Bible that he is to be a child of God, he was intended for fellowship with God in Jesus Christ.” How the World Began p. 79. Among other misinterpretations: i) male as superior or the head. ii) God as a divine killjoy. iii) In exercising dominion, humanity can exploit creation. iv) the notion of woman as temptress. One thing is certain. Humanity was made for community. After reading chapter one, ‘it was good, it was good, we suddenly hear a new startling statement: ‘it is not good.’ In fact, human as male only is not yet human. As Phyllis Trible points out, the entity that exists in the garden is an "earth creature" Only when the great division occurs so that they are male and female do we have the reality of the human created in the divine image. ‘Adam’ simply means ‘dust.’ Adamah is the feminine ending in Hebrew rendering the translation ‘woman.’ So we have man ‘adam’ and woman ‘adamah.’ An event by the way which man [adam] celebrates. ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.’ This speaks to our common origin. It is important to remember on this World Pride Week, we are not speaking about gender preference or identity. In fact the biblical record acknowledges that we have both female and male characteristics within each one of us. It goes on to state: Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed. Quite an amazing statement for a patriarchal culture to have the man leave, and yet in some marriage ceremonies we say “who gives this woman to be married to this man?” What is emphasized is a celebration of sexuality, no matter what gender, or preference. In our maleness and femaleness we are created in the image of God. But let us return to the story. After the divine pronouncement “It is not good” we now have a brilliant interlude - the parade of the animals. Giraffes, penguins, hippopotamuses, crows, robins, sea bass, etc., etc. with the conclusion that: there was not found a helper as his partner. When woman was created: NOTE: the man has nothing to do with it: the adam is in a deep sleep; we now have the partner that can assist the adam: The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.In other words, humanity is to care for creation in precisely the way that God exercises dominion - with compassion and a sense of justice for all. Because the animals and gardens were created by God [albeit over millennia of time through an evolutionary process] it needs to be of great concern when we consider our environment, the quality of our water supply and earth; of endangered species. These are not matters to be lightly passed over. Jesus once observed that a common lily of the field contained as much glory as Solomon in all his splendour, so he shared a deep appreciation of nature. However, The risk that God has taken in creating human kind becomes apparent with the challenge to obey. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’ Why would God do that? It is only humanity that can aspire to enter into relationship with God. This is the opportunity for humankind to realize that his/her destiny is wrapped up in the ability to remember that though created in God’s image [therefore the opportunity to become like God], the reality is that my living to the full depends upon my relationship with the one who made me in the first place. They are called together as joint heirs to be in community and to care for the garden. However, in their disobedience, they fall together not just as the helpless male succumbing to the wiles of the female. More about this next week. Where the adam and adamah failed, Jesus Christ came to show us that the way to fulfillment in life is to live in obedience to God. Paul refers to Jesus as the second Adam, the human we were intended to be. Our hope comes from knowing even if we have been cast out of the Garden, we are invited to the messianic banquet in the new heaven and new earth. The risk for God was that humanity would disobey and fail. At that point it would require a painful intervention of Jesus, the true Adam, dying, that we might live. If I live under God’s word, that is, allow my life to be directed by God, She will not let me down. I will learn to appreciate the abundance of the garden, but will not aspire to divinity. Rather I will till the garden and maintain it even as he said. Then I can fully enter into community and realize that it, too, is a great gift from God’s hand.
Bible Text: Genesis 1:1-24; Matt. 28:16-20 | Preacher: Rev. Harry Klassen 1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 6And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 9And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11Then 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.” And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. 14And 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, 15and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. 20And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. 24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 27So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. 2Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. 4These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. Matthew 28:16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The Genesis passage read for you is in liturgical format and no doubt written to those in exile. It announced good news to those languishing in Babylon. Rather than the Babylonian myths about the beginnings of the world, here was the announcement of a good God making a good universe with a positive statement about humanity. Someone once asked Luther what God did before he made the world to which Luther is purported to have said: “He was cutting switches with which to flog inquisitive questioners.” in How the World Began by Thielicke. p. 13. When we come to examine the creation story in Genesis, we are often puzzled and more than a little embarrassed by some creationists who still want to hold out for a 7 day creation thus doing tremendous disservice to our text of Genesis 1. Like the unfortunate fight with Galileo and Copernicus whereby the church wanted to excommunicate them as heretics for saying the earth orbited the sun rather than the sun rotating around the earth, so too, today we need to understand what the author of Genesis is trying to say. In the beginning God created, but it can also be translated ‘When God began to create....” In other words it is an ongoing process and God continues. See Genesis, Brueggemann p. 29. There are two creation accounts in Genesis, and the first account which we read this morning is much later than the second account which begins at 2:4. It is acknowledged to have been written during the exilic period when the people were trapped in Babylon in the sixth Century Before the C. E. Having lost their king, their land, with the temple at Jerusalem destroyed, what remains of their relationship to the covenant keeping God? Just this: - the Sabbath. So the priestly writers pen this brilliant liturgy of creation, which in contrast to Babylonian thought posits a good creation, created by a good God, and a wonderful humanity. “ To call the creation story true is not to quibble with science; it is to probe deeper than any scientific endeavor can take us. It is to acknowledge who we truly are and where we really come from. It is to affirm, by faith, the reality of a good God, a good world, and a beloved humanity.” Deb Thomas in Journey with Jesus.net Current scientific thinking places the origin of the universe at 13.8 billion years; the existence of the earth at 4.5 billion years; and that complex molecules which could replicate themselves at about 3 billion years. Richard Carlson, research professor of physics at the University of Redlands, states: “Most of what we see or experience can be given a good accounting by science. That does not imply that there can be no religious understanding of those phenomena, for theology answers the why questions whereas science answers the how questions. Hence, even though as followers of Jesus we understand that God created all life, including the first life on earth, this compliments rather than replaces or invalidates the scientific goal of a scientific accounting for the development of the first life on earth. In addition, this gap in scientific understanding does not invalidate the remainder of evolutionary thought.” Theology News and Notes Fuller Theological Seminary, Spring 2013 p.22,23. Do not say there is no room for dinosaurs in the Bible. Nor think of evolution as in conflict with Scripture. Rather understand a brilliant liturgy which for a vanquished people languishing in a country where they did not know how to sing the Lord’s song, this brilliant liturgy set them on a new path of hope. Deb Thomas [guest essay Journey with Jesus] Where do I come from? Here's what I've discovered so far: I come from a God who sees. Seven times in the creation narrative, God pauses to reflect on his handiwork. "And God saw." Well before his work is done, he steps back to behold all that is taking shape before his eyes. Like a musician who thrills at a swelling harmony, like a poet who gasps at a beautiful turn of phrase, God lingers over his creation — every leaf, every wing, every stream, every child. He's not in a hurry, and his interest in the world is far from utilitarian. God's is the gaze of the artist, keen, perceptive, and patient. He observes. He attends. He notices. I come from a God who pays delighted attention. He sees.” How important for the captive people to hear this good news. The culmination of the creation event is found in Sabbath rest. It is called the rest of completion; satisfaction; a job well done. And God rested: And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. “Genesis affirms the world as the good creation of the good God. All that is, is good." - Marcus Borg Barbara Brown Taylor writes, "The way most people talk about darkness, you would think that it came from a whole different deity, but no. To be human is to live by sunlight and moonlight, with anxiety and delight, admitting limits and transcending them, falling down and rising up. To want a life with only half of these things in it is to want half a life, shutting the other half away where it will not interfere with one's bright fantasies of the way things ought to be." There are beginnings, and they are wrought by the speech of God which evokes among us a new world. The church has discerned this good news in Jesus of Nazareth, Through him, God’s powerful speech is still being spoken. God’s powerful wind is still blowing. Brueggemann Genesis p.39. In the prologue to John’s Gospel, Jesus is identified as ‘The word”; further as ‘the word made flesh.” Human kind is created in the very image of God, the so-called, imago dei. God's mark is imprinted on my very being. I might ignore or distort it, but the mark is always there. Whether I acknowledge it or not, I reflect something of God's joy, God's intentions, God's love, and God's beauty just by virtue of existing on the earth. I am His, and so He is mine. In a book entitled The Search Will Make you Free the author includes a conversation that St. Francis once had with a disciple of his: The student asked: Won’t you tell me how one comes to love God? to which Francis replied: There is only one way and that is to love Him. The student again asked: How do you engender that love? Francis: By loving Him.” Again the student: Just what do you do in order to come into the possession of this love?” Francis: “You begin by loving and you go on loving and loving teaches you how to love. And the more you love, the more you learn to love.” quoted in the Eighth day of Creation p. 66,67 by Elizabeth O’Connor. Unfortunately in our day with so much that has been explained a way, we tend to lose our sense of awe and wonder. But when that happens, a stunning loss of creativity results. Life loses its verve. “The loss of wonder, of awe, of the sublime, is a condition leading to the death of the soul. There is no more withering state than that which takes all things for granted, whether with respect to human beings or the rest of the natural order. The blase attitude means spiritual, emotional, intellectual and creative death.” Edmund Fuller, Man in Modern Fiction. Deb Thomas ends her essay with these words; “Where do we come from? We come from the best of beginnings. We come from a glorious Creator. We come from the loving heart of God.” On this trinity Sunday, we rejoice that love within the Godhead had the need to create - Love has to be shared. God created something to love and a humanity which could love in return. In summary, we can say that we have been created by love for love. Love to our fellow human beings; love for all of God’s creatures and for this planet. God saw everything that God had made, and behold ‘it was very good.’ Thus we have been placed on this planet not to exploit but to value, to care for, to love, and to share good news. Remembering that the Spirit of Jesus remains with us even to the end of the age. Thanks be to God!