This is the 2nd Part of a Sermon Series titled "The C3P2 Church." Last week we discussed Community. This week is Connection. Next week is Compassion. The C3 of Community, Connection, and Compassion will be followed by the P2 of Prayerfulness and Progress.
“Breath…Light…Us… (Genesis 1) “God is Breath…” (John 4:24); “God is Love…” (I John 4:8, 16); “God is Light…” (I John 1:5)
God is Breath,
scripture originally says.
And Breath breathed, breathes life into us
in the beginning, at the dawn of Creation.
The Life of God enlivens Life in us, through us.
We are alive in God. Our connection
to our Life-Giver more a inter-bond,
unbounding us to do Divine Life’s work.
God is Light,
scripture originally says.
And Light enlightened the stars and sun,
sculpting this universe, the source of creativity.
The Light of God undimmed our dark rooms.
We are now alight in God. Our connection
to our Enlightener more an extension
from You to me and out to the world.
God is Love,
scripture originally says.
And Love loves us into becoming and being
in the here and now, and infinitely so.
The Love of God loves us, in us, infusing us.
We are beloved in God. Our interconnection
to the Loving One more an at-one-ment,
atoning us to love one another as One loves us.
Genesis 1 indicates that before the beginning of creation, there was Light, there was Breath, usually translated as Spirit, and there was a loving, harmonious we.
God created light in the universe as one of the opening acts of Creation. “Let there be light,” Genesis 1:3 says. But before Creation, was there light? Well, yes. God was light. Light created light.
God as Breath was moving from the before the beginning, Genesis 1:2 says. And the Breath moved over creation, and more creativity happened. Then later in Genesis 2, verse 7. God breathed into the nostrils of Adam, the first human, the breath of life.
God as Love is a little more implicit. It is not directly obvious in Genesis 1 and 2. That God is Love itself is really a Christian original idea. What we call an innovation gifted to the world. But we can interpret God as Love in the Genesis story. Genesis 1:26 says, “Let us make human in our own image…”
Who is the Us and the Our?
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity provides an answer. In the beginning and before was the Trinity. And what is foundation of the Trinity? Love. An intra-love between Creator, Christ, and Sacred Spirit. That’s why we say, God is Love.
So, light, breath, love, these three define God.
How does God connect to us? How do we connect to God?
We breathe and do it mindfully. Mindfully and gratefully breathing connects us to God.
We notice light from the sun rising in the morning, gracing us with vision and warmth. We notice how there’s a light that guides our path. We remember Jesus telling us, “you are lights unto the world,” and we seek to be the light, as Amanda Gorman so powerfully reminded us Wednesday. Noticing light, seeing that we are light, and being it – these practices connect us to God.
2. To Each
“So God created humankind in God’s image, in the likeness of God he created them” (Genesis 1:27)
You like me
carry a little of God within
You like me walk like God. Do you know?
You like me speak like God. Do you know?
You appear like God from dawn to dusk. Do you?
Will you? Can you? Will I? Can I?
Can we, can we see one another anew?
Can we see one another in the manner
we enter Sunday morning, worshipful,
reverential, sanctuary-filled and feeling?
bow arriving to one another.
To the Awoke One in you I bow.
To the Awoke One in you I bow, too.
let us do the same.
Let us with our hellos if merely inwardly
bow to the Anointed One in you and me,
bow to the Anointed One in you and me.
That of God
in us, as the Quakers say,
encompasses us and connects us,
creating in us compasses of compassion,
compasses carrying a little piece of the Cross,
a little touch of Christ who empties self to save.
A central doctrine of the Christian tradition is known as Imago Dei. We are each created in God’s image. The Hebrew word for image here tselem. It can also mean likeness, image, or form. When Gen. 1:27 says we are created in God’s tselem, it points to a powerful, unbelievable reality. We carry God’s likeness, God’s form in the human things we do such as walk, talk, and live our life. Realizing this and acting according is the point. Forgetting this means we fall into the scenario that Adam and Eve experienced.
Some Christian teachings argue that that Image of God status we were created in was degraded by the Fall to such a degree as to have disappeared. But how can anything resembling God die? God doesn’t die. Neither can the divine image. It merely got covered, hidden, forgotten in such a way that it seemed lost to us.
Imagine the moon covered with thick clouds. The moon is imago dei. The cloud sin. God’s image, the moon, though hidden by the cloud of sin, remains. Christ, Christ’s work, and our internalization of Christ’s transformative life, is what moves those clouds away.
Anyway, that we each carry God’s image as human beings means God connects us, unites us, creates a common ground that we all share. Realizing our connection to each other via God’s connection to us is everything, changes everything, and can heal us and our divides.
3. To Our
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20)
God is in Community;
Community is in God.
Creator, Christ and Sacred Spirit,
the primordial community
giving way to the diverse glory of Creation.
Two or more gathered,
an earthly society mirroring the heavenly one,
called to unfold the loving bond that enfolds
more and more into belonging as it goes.
I am in my community;
My community is in me.
This is true,
This is truth
Like it; like it not.
I choose to
to love the Truth,
making it present and future together.
I choose in the now ever-coming
to push myself outward and out there,
to compel my self to expel self-enclosure,
to love neighbor as neighbor alongside neighbor.
We are in our
that Community is in us.
A community like ours cannot be cloistered,
enclosed within walls
and within the claims of personal heaven.
A community like ours cannot be quiescent
at least without dying a slow collective death.
choose to breathe the church where we live,
crying good news to the people, news of connection,
Shall we embody communion amid the lost, the left-out, the lonely,
baptizing our neighbors in the name of active love?
As mentioned, the Trinity is the primordial Community. When two or three are gathered in Christ’s name is a Christian community. Three gathered in one divinity, that is a Triune Community.
The task of the Christian community is to mirror the Triune Community in heaven.
It doesn’t stop there, as the Triune Community reached into human history and the created world via Christ’s works of compassion, we are tasked as a church with reaching into our wider communities and creation found there to do the Christ-like work of compassion. Christ’s act of self-emptying talked about in Philippians 2, where he let go of godly form to selflessly provide us refuge – this is what we are to mirror as a church.
How we do this and in what form, that is the key question.
“God saw every created thing, and indeed, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)
unspooled the Blue Marble,
the planet we recall seeing
through the eyes of space’s photographer.
and All things within it,
the Ultimate Good
Each day of
upon each workday’s end,
the Good Word declared:
“It is so and it is good.”
Good begets Good,
Good into the Good,
Good infused in the Good,
Good upon Good upon Good.
The interconnection of Good.
The harmony of Good.
And Good is Harmony with Three Parts.
The absence of harmony,
the beginning of harm,
the resorting to a sole self singing out of tune.
to no one, for no one.
things join the Holy Trio.
Let all things sing their song,
finding their voice and a melody
in harmony with the whole.
Let all things find belonging in community,
Community akin to a choir
Singing a holy song, an infinite song,
a song that unites heaven and earth,
a song that takes up residence
in each and every heart
that in turn touches the heart of the universe.
God with each day of creation declared all that was created good. From the heavens and the earth to the smallest animal, God declared it good. In the same way, God declared human beings, God’s closest creation, good. If creation is still, human as the pinnacle of creation contain the good still.
This is understandable. God is the Ultimate Good. God is good itself. And if God includes God’s self in God’s masterpiece, like any magisterial artist does, then good is part and parcel of what God creates.
God’s goodness, like God’s love, comes from within the Trinity, shared among Creator, Christ, and Sacred Spirit, and overflowing out in creativity to paint creation. Good is akin to harmony innate in the Trinity.
Where does the non-good, the ungodly come from?
The absence of harmony within us. Or our refusing to hear that harmony that is God. Or our forgetting of the song of God. These lead to cacophony, even chaos in our souls. And they may lead to a harming of our own psyche and then a harming of those around us.
Returning to God’s harmonious way that is our hope and our salvation. All things Joining the Holy Trinity and singing in a kind of worldwide Community Choir of God – that is the sacred duty of Christians, of the Christian church, and all Compassionate beings of Good Will.