Sunday, October 24, 2010
Trinity 21 Genesis 1
In beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was empty and void, and darkness on the face of the depths. And the Spirit of God was swooping on the face of the waters. And God said, "Be light!" and light was! And God saw the light for good, and God distinguished between the light and between the darkness. And God called the light "day", and the darkness He called "night". And there was evening, and there was morning. Day one. And God said, "Be a dome in the midst of the waters, and be a separation between waters and waters." And God made the dome and separated between the waters which were below the dome and the waters which were above the dome; and it was so. And God called the dome "heaven". And there was evening, and there was morning. Day two...And God said, "May the earth emit living souls in their species, behemoths and small animals and living creatures of the earth in their species"; and it was so...And God saw it for good. And God said, "Let us make man in our image, as our likeness, and may they rule over the fish of the water, and the birds of the heavens, and over the behemoths and over all the earth, and over all the small animals which flock on the earth."...And God saw all which He made and look, much good; and there was evening and there was morning. Day 6.
God speaks, and stuff happens! Yet we have trouble believing it, sometimes. Some doubt that only God's voice was involved in creation. "There must have been some pre-existing material, or primordial soup, or something" they ponder. Others assume that God could do so much in just 6 days. "Each ‘day' must really mean millions of years" they postulate. Still others disbelieve that God made so many different creatures. "It all must have evolved from one very simple life-form" they think.
But God spoke and made everything there is out of absolutely nothing! It wasn't...and then it was! He made every single species there is without the help of any kind of evolution, and even caused them to reproduce after their own species! And all this God did in 6 regular, evening and morning, 24-hour days. Why should this astound people? With God, all things are possible! He could have created it all in an instant...but chose to take 6 days for our sake–so that we would have a weekly schedule.
So, if God could create the entire universe with just his voice in 144 hours time, surely God could take care of simpler things nowadays, right? But not everyone is quick to believe that either. When the royal official's son was sick in Capernaum, folks expected Jesus to come quickly from Cana to do some exciting, miraculous sign for them to gaze at. They just couldn't believe Jesus could heal the boy from such a distance, with only His words. But He did. And amazingly, the official believed it!
God says it, and it happens! God tells living creatures to live on the earth, and they do! Jesus says that the official's son will live, and He does! Wow! We have a God Whose very words hold the power of life and death! God could say, "Die" and you would die. In fact, God has every right to do so. You doubt Him so often, relying on yourself or trusting other means which you think gives you a satisfied life. He could speak, "Die" and in an instant, your heart would stop beating, and your breath would stop.
But that's not what God likes to do. By nature He is a "Creator", not a "destroyer". God just loves to speak words of "life", and when He does, things live! He speaks words of life to you this day, declaring your deadly sins forgiven so that you may live forever! He proclaims the gracious love of Jesus to you, Who gave His life as a forfeit for yours at the cross, suffering your death so, in exchange, you have life eternal in heaven. Your pastor speaks such words of life to you often.
And you know that when God speaks, stuff happens! When God connects His word to simple water, it becomes a gracious water of life, a living water which quenches your thirst for Christ's righteousness, which He gives you in trade for your sins which He bore in His body on the tree of Calvary. When God places His word into the voice box of your Pastor, he hears your confession and proclaims you to be absolutely forgiven, as surely and certainly as Jesus' Own proclamation to you.
When God takes the words of institution Jesus spoke at the Last Supper, and they are spoken over simple bread and wine, those elements become the body of Christ given for you, and His blood shed for you at the cross for your forgiveness. These words of Jesus' death become for you words of your life! God speaks, and life is created. Jesus speaks, and life is restored. Your Lord speaks to you and your life is renewed forevermore. His word proclaimed, and sacramental word in action give you life! Amen.