Today we give consideration to the person of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God has blessed us by revealing to us His true nature. Three persons; one God. This is a profound mystery that we would never imagine that something could be three and yet one. It should be obvious to every person that the Christian religion is not something that was developed by man, for no one would come up with something like this that makes no sense to human minds. No, the true God is triune. Each person has unique characteristics that we observe. Yet together they are not three gods but one God, united in purpose to bless His creation with love and goodness.
We can learn much about the threefold nature of God by listening to what He says about how He made and redeemed us. In the first place, we look to the story of the creation of the world. In it we learn that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. While humans produce their greatest works by turning one substance into another, such as the beauty of art, building structures, or mechanics, God made all things out of nothing in six days. All the land, the seas, the sky, stars and planets He created from nothing, with no pattern to guide him. We see His wonders from the Grand Canyon to Mount Everest and every level in between. All the green plants, the trees, the animals, fish and birds He made. Each day, when He was through creating, He looked at all He made and He declared it to be good.
What does that word good mean? So many things appear to be good to us. On a hot summer day when we are hungry and overheated, we put an ice cream cone to our lips and we say, "Oh, that is good."
In the Bible the word good means pleasing, delightful, delicious, savory, pure and clean, making us cheerful and happy. That's it. When God looked at what He made, He was pleased with it. It brought Him joy.
On the sixth day to top it all off God created the human race. He fashioned a man and a woman and set them down in an earthly paradise. On that day the Lord looked at all that He had made and He saw that it was "very good." The creation of the human race made God very happy. That is why even today every life is sacred. When a baby is born, when a life is saved, God is pleased. That human life was created to please the Lord. On the seventh day God could rest because He was pleased with his creation. This is the first way we see the goodness of the Father in the act of His creating.
Things do not always appear good to us as we live in the creation. Last week a man walks back into his house in Villa Grove. His feet make sloshing sounds in the yard as he approaches the front door. Inside the house everything smells like mildew. He looks down the stairs and hears the sound of water dripping into a pool. There's four feet of water in the basement. He sees furniture floating by the foot of the stairs. He thinks to himself, "This is the house I brought my bride to. I raised the children here. I tried to keep it up all these years, and now this happens. What did I do wrong?"
There's no good in floods, fires, earthquakes and calamity. They only serve to remind us that we are helpless against the forces of nature gone awry. The world fights against God's people, and there appears to be no pattern in how hardship strikes. Did the people in Villa Grove sin more than us here in Champaign? Then why did the heavens release all their rain there? The world that God once said was good now closes in on itself, striking terror into its inhabitants. The world was created to give us life, and now we fear it will take our very lives away.
The second way we see the goodness of God's creation is in the story of our rescue. The Father loves His created people. Jesus loves His Heavenly Father, and therefore also loves God's people. He comes into the world as one of us, enduring all the hardships we must face, and more. He comes to deliver us from the world. Jesus obeys the Father, even to His own death. In doing so He restores the creation. All who call on the name of the Lord Jesus shall be saved from death and from the coming destruction of the world.
They are saved because the goodness they once were, which was destroyed by sin, is extended to them again. Jesus covers over our sin with His goodness. As a mother covers her child with a blanket to keep it warm, so the Lord covers His people with the robe of His own righteousness.
There is a connection between what the Father wants, the good of us all, and what the Son wants, to please the Father. They are united in their love and their purpose, to save us.
The third way we see the goodness of God's creation is in how God reestablishes His goodness in us. The Holy Spirit of God comes to bring recreation to us when we are helpless to recreate ourselves. He puts the fruit of the Spirit in us.
A woman wakes up in the morning in the nursing home where she lives. She pushes the button to bring the nurse to get her out of bed for the day. It always takes such a long time for the nurse to come. She doesn't really want to get up today. She has nothing left to live for. She's given up her home, given up her health, given up her independence and most of her dignity. The woman in the bed next to her never gets up at all. She is unconscious. "What am I still doing here?" She thinks. "What purpose do I serve to anyone?"
The nurse finally arrives to lower the bedrail and move her to the wheelchair. While the elderly woman fights it, a smile comes to her lips. "You are so patient," says the nurse. I'm sorry I kept you waiting.
There is good in the world. The fruit of the Spirit is joy, peace, patience . . . That smile was God's work in her today.
In the beginning the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters. He is still moving over us today, looking, searching. He searches us out in the world and by giving us faith in the Word of God He reunites us with the Father through the self-sacrifice of the Son. He restores us with our Creator.
You might ask yourself from time to time, "How important is my boring life?" Our lives have great purpose, you see. We were created to be good, and when that failed, we were recreated to be faithful to God no matter what comes, no matter how long we are here.
Living here in the first creation, flawed as we are, Christians look forward to the second creation, the recreation at the end of time. What is sown perishable is raised imperishable. Christ has gone on before us. He has defeated death. He has declared us to be good, exceedingly good.
We can see the true God working among us. The Father creating and preserving us. The Son loving the Father by pouring out Himself for us. The Spirit loving the Father and the Son by taking the goodness of Christ and applying it to us. Earlier in the service we prayed in the Collect of the Day, "Give us grace to worship the true Unity in the power of your divine majesty." The power of God is how the Trinity works together to bless us in this present tribulation, and in the peace of heaven that is yet to come.
As Christians, the goodness of God's creation is restored to us each day.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Copyright © 1998-2011 James F. Wright. All rights reserved.
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