Sermon Notes Theophany 2002
God is a materialist.
Though our God exists Himself in the purely spiritual realm, yet it made God happy to create the material world. He wanted the material world to exist, and brought it into being. Before time began there was nothing, nothing material, nothing physical, no time or space.
And God in His infinite wisdom and love brought into existence this material world. Indeed it was a big bang, and voila the universe was here, and out of the chaos of that big bang God brought order to the universe and to our world.
And God then ordered the material world to be life giving. As it says in Genesis, And God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to their own kind, upon the earth. The earth brought forth vegetation… And God saw that it was good.”
Please note, God did not speak plants into existenc; according to Genesis God did not say, “Let there be plants…” Rather God orders His material world, the earth to bring forth the plants: “let the earth bring forth vegetation.” The physical world when acted upon by God’s word is life giving. The earth becomes creative and brings forth life. This is the material world as God created it. The physical the spiritual are the same world. There is no opposition between the physical and spiritual.
And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures…” Again God does not alone bring forth life, but commands His seas to bring forth life and the seas obey. The empirical world enlivened by God’s command is able to bring forth life. And God tells the creatures in Genesis 1, “Be fruitful and multiply…” And so the created order begins being creative and animals pro-creatively fill the earth. It is not God directly doing this but God commanding His creatures to multiply, and the creatures join in His creative work. Creation is empowered by God to be creative and procreative, and the material creation again proves itself capable of bringing more life into existence. And God saw that it was good.
And God then commands, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth….” And again the material earth does its job and brings animals into existence. The materialist God giving life to His creation and the material world becomes creative and brings forth life as God commands.
The material world is all that God wants it to be – life giving and full of life. That which is physical becomes animated – life bearing and life giving.
And then God creates us, humans, creatures who He makes in His own image and likeness. He makes us from the dust of the ground and with the breathe of His Spirit. We are beings in God’s image who also are to be life giving and full of life.
And God places us in His material world to enjoy this world and to rejoice in our Creator. And it was so.
And we are beings who bring together the physical and the spiritual.
And we today rejoice in the Lord as we bless the water which God has given us, and we bless the material world, and we encounter God in this world in our bodies in the water, in the bread and the wine, and in one another. We celebrate today what God intended His creation to be, what He enlivened it to be, what He empowered it to be, and we ask God to renew His creation and make it once again capable of bearing His revelation
And God saw that this was good. And God blessed this day.