June 16, 2019 – Trinity Sunday, Year C
Proverbs 8:1-4,22-31; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15
Robert C. Wisnewski, Jr.
Like many people I wear a wedding ring, a simple gold band that has special meaning to me. Mary Ward and I were married in 1978 but she didn’t give the ring to me until 1992. When we were married there were single ring ceremonies and there were double ring ceremonies. Ours was a single ring ceremony, mainly because I had never worn a ring of any description and neither one of us is much of a jewelry person. But in 1992, 14 years after we were married, Mary Ward decided to give me a wedding band on our anniversary and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.
There’s another special thing about the gold band I wear and it is the same special thing about every precious metal and most all the elements: the gold that my ring was formed from came from a dead star that collapsed and exploded itself into the universe billions of years ago. Scientists believe that hydrogen and helium were the first two elements in the created order and that a tiny particle, about the size of an atom, exploded and, from that explosion, everything that now exists was eventually formed.
Creation is still being formed and it’s all connected. It all came from the same place and the elements of the universe have been thrust about from place to place. The stars we see at night are big, flaming balls of fire. Our sun is a star. Stars have a lifespan. They eventually burn through all the fuel they contain and a solid mass is formed that compresses itself so tightly that it eventually explodes and spews various elements into outer space, elements like iron and gold and silver. Then various planets as they are being formed by gravitational pull, draw those exploding elements into themselves and the planet mass builds and builds.
The gold ring that I wear was made from gold found in a mine. But that gold was formed from a star that died and exploded into the universe. Maybe the gold or silver you wear came from the same star as my ring. Or maybe it came from one of billions of others that exploded billions of years ago and got sucked into the earth’s gravitational pull as our planet was formed. If any of this is new or, if you want to learn more, Audible has a series of lectures you can listen to, entitled: Big History – The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity.
If you are so moved to do a little studying on Big History, go back and read the two creation narratives in Genesis. “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep…. Then God said, Let there be light; and there was light.” Boom, there goes that tiny particle exploding into the darkness, leading to the creation of all that is. “And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.” “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.”
Today in our lesson from Proverbs, Wisdom speaks, that great Spirit that was here when that tiny particle exploded into the darkness, and she says: “The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When he established the heavens, I was there…, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.”
For a long time we have celebrated God’s creation of all that is and we have understood that a Spirit of Wisdom emanating from the being of God has always accompanied the created order. Over the years humankind has wandered away from that comforting and discomforting truth of God’s power. We have thought we have been left alone and that nothing holds the created order together. We have thought that the creator is distant and apathetic or even cruel. In Christ, God acts to show us the truth of God’s being in a way more easily understood. God is present with us, Christ shows us. Death is not the end. Death, in fact, leads to brand new and unimaginable life, like a dying star leads to a ring of gold and promising love.
That Christ was and is an expression of God just as the Spirit of Wisdom was and is. God the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has always been. All that is comes from that loving, creative force. Everything in the universe is connected, connected by its very substance and connected by the forces which brought it into being and holds it all together, that being which even death does not destroy.
You and I might divide ourselves into tribes and cultures and ideologies, we may form cliques and camps and come to see others as enemies, we may come to believe we are right and others are wrong, but we are all connected. The truths we celebrate in our Eucharist always have been and always will be. We are made by God. We are made new by God. We are held together by God. We are all connected to God and to each other. When we interact with each other and with all of creation, we are interacting with the very being of God. We cannot separate our worship of God from the manner in which we relate to each other. It all fits together and we are invited to love it all and to be loved.