November, 30 2106
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
INI + **AMEN.**
The Apostles’ Creed confesses what the Scriptures teach. The Scriptures teach that there is One God, only one. The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. They’re not parts of God—like twelve eggs make a dozen. No, that’s not what the Scriptures say. Each one of them is completely God—100%. But there aren’t three gods; there’s only one God.
This God, the Trinity, is the God taught and proclaimed by the entire Scriptures: not just the New Testament but the Old Testament, too. The Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, was there in the beginning and created everything from water. It doesn’t matter what was created. It was created from water by Yahweh, our Triune God.
Now, this God created the heavens and the earth. “The Spirit of God was fluttering over the face of the waters.” The Holy Spirit was there. The Father and Son were there too. “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’” The Father speaks, and He uses His Son, the Word to do so. That’s John 1. “In the beginning was the Word…the Word was God…all things were made through Him…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
We must keep in mind that all three persons of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) were involved in creation, but, to keep things simple, we usually just talk about the Father as Creator. The Scriptures do this, the Creed does, and we do too. So to keep things simple:
THE ETERNAL GOD, THE FATHER, IS YOUR LOVING CREATOR.
He’s your loving creator because
((I.)) He created all things for you,
((II.)) He created you for all things,
((III.)) He uses all things for your good.
((I. He created all things for you.))
The eternal Father created all things. From nothing He created them. Nothing became something in and through the Life-giving Spirit and the eternal Word, Jesus. “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” But it wasn’t just light. It was dry land; plants; sun, moon, stars; birds and sea creatures; land animals. Each day had its own special, specific, and significant “Let there be.” No matter what it was, it was good.
But why all the “let there be”s? What was the Father’s purpose? Well, each one, no matter what is was, was creating something for you. All things are a gift for you. Out of His love, the Father wanted to give, and so He created everything as a gift for humanity, you and me included. It was the Father’s design. “I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit.” It wasn’t just the plants. The sun, moon, and stars were given to makes the heavens beautiful and “for times and seasons and years,” that is, so that we could tell when those things are. The sun, moon, and stars were a gift, as all creation was and still is—a gift for you.
((II. He created you for all things.))
Now, the Father didn’t just create all things for you. He created you for all things. He created us to a blessing for creation. The Triune God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” And so He still does, as we sang in the Psalm, “You knit me together in my mothers womb.” Still, today He does it. He gives each and every one of us “body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them.”
But He created humanity for a purpose: “And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” The Father has placed each of us as lord, steward, protector, and guardian of creation. Creation was created to be subject to us, but we shouldn’t be tyrants of creation or dictators. (Dictators don’t last forever.) We’re to care for creation. It’s a gift. It’s to be treasured. We give thanks for it.
We weren’t just created to be a blessing to creation—to the plants and animals. We were created to be a blessing to our neighbor, to care for them. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created them.” Adam and Eve were made for each other, and their children were gifts to them. That’s how the Father wanted it. We were meant not to be alone, but to live in community and communion with one another, to love and support one another: husbands and wives; parents and children; friends and neighbors—all people. The Commandments direct us in how we’re to love our neighbor as ourselves, to live as God intended from the very beginning.
((III. He uses all things for your good.))
The Father created all things as a gift for you, and He created you to be a gift for all things—animals and people. He blesses you in and through these things. He blesses you so that we “fill the earth” and care for it. So He gives us food and strength to our bodies. “He gives us our food at the proper time. He opens His hand and satisfies the desires of every living thing,” as we pray in Luther’s meal prayer. He gives us things like “clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.”
“All this He does only out of father, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me.” It’s not good enough that He’s Father. He must be and become our Father. Humanity was created in God’s image: perfect and holy. He created all things “good” and even “very good,” but thanks to Adam and Eve, and thanks to what we’ve all done since, things aren’t so “good” any more. Well, they may be “good” sometimes, but so often they aren’t “very good,” that is, no bad at all.
We screw it up. Not just in creation, but with those around us. We think because of what goes on that He’s not our Father. But the eternal Father is your Father. He uses all of creation to bless us by making us His children.
He “created man in His own image,” and He “knits us together in our mother’s womb.” This even included His eternal Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was
\“conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.” He was knit together in the Blessed Virgin’s womb to be your Savior, to reconcile you to the Father, to make Him your Father. He did this for you. He won it for you in His death and His resurrection.
It’s through the work of the Spirit that you believe Jesus did this for you, and your heavenly Father still uses all things for your good to make sure the Spirit can do His Work. He really did create all things for your good—your eternal good. Even as He created all things from water, He created water, and the Spirit uses that water to make baptism a “life giving water” that is “rich in grace” because the water delivers Jesus’ death and resurrection to you. Your Father created plants not only to nourish your body but even your soul, as the Spirit uses the bread and wine and wine of the Supper. The Supper that delivers not just bread and wine, but it is the Lord’s Supper, Jesus’ Supper, that delivers Jesus’ body and blood. The Spirit does this, uses this to strengthen your faith and your love for one another that you might be a gift to them, just as the Father intended when He created you.
THE ETERNAL GOD, THE FATHER, IS YOUR LOVING CREATOR. Yes, the Son and the Spirit were involved too, but we try to make it simple. He created all things as a gift for you. He created you to be a gift for all things—even those around you. He uses all things for your good. He gave His Son His human nature that He would die and rise for you. He created water that the Spirit might baptize you into His Son, making you His child. He created plants to give us daily bread but also for us to eat and drink His Son’s body and blood so that the Spirit would strengthen our trust in our Father and strengthen our love for each other. In all these ways, it’s easy to see that THE ETERNAL GOD, THE FATHER, truly IS YOUR LOVING CREATOR.
INI + AMEN.