Genesis 1:1-5, NIRV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth didn’t have any shape. And it was empty. There was darkness over the surface of the waves. At that time, the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good. He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day.” He called the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning. It was day one.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Bible, a bottle of 3-in-1 body wash.
The words in today’s scripture passage are the first words found in our Bible. They are the first words from the book of Genesis. The name “Genesis” means “beginning.” That is the perfect name for this book in our Bible, for it tells us about the beginning of everything in the heavens and on our planet Earth.
These words are written like a poem, reminding us that God is the one who created everything. Let me read the passage. While I read, I want you to raise your hand when you hear something that God created. (Read passage and allow children to raise their hands when they identify something that God created.)
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth didn’t have any shape. And it was empty. There was darkness over the surface of the waves. At that time, the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. God saw that the light was good. He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day.” He called the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning. It was day one.
God is the one who made light to shine where before there had been only darkness. After this first passage, in the next few verses of Genesis, we learn that God created the sky with its sun and moon and stars, the dry ground, and every living thing —from plants to animals to us!
It is important that we learn from Genesis that God is our creator and that God called the creation good.
Today is what we refer to as Trinity Sunday. Trinity means three. Christians experience God’s blessing in more than one way. Remember last week when we celebrated the birthday of the church? We recognized the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in the life of each and every Christian. We are blessed by the Holy Spirit, who makes us one with each other and with God. We are also blessed by Jesus Christ, who is God-with-us (Emmanuel) in human form. We are also blessed by God the Creator, who gives everything life.
Christians don’t believe in three different gods. Christians use the word Trinity to point to the different ways we experience God’s blessings. Trinity means three-in-one. Christians use God, Son, and Holy Spirit as a name for the Trinity. Can you hold up one finger as I name the three parts of the Trinity as we count together? (Encourage children to hold up one finger, starting with the index finger. Have them count with you as you reiterate the three-in-one. Be careful that children don’t use an inappropriate finger when counting.) Trinity means three-in-one. Christians use God (hold up one finger), Son (hold up a second finger), and Holy Spirit (hold up a third finger), as names for the Trinity.
We use this language of three-in-one all through our lives as Christians. One good example found in our house is this three-in-one body wash. (Show children the body wash.) This container says it contains soap for the body, hair, and face. That means I can use it as soap, shampoo, and face cleaner. One bottle does all three. I don’t have to have three different items in my shower or bathroom. Three-in-one.
Another example from our life in the church can be found when we are baptized. We are baptized in the name of God and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, which is found in our Bible in Matthew 28:19. As Christians, we receive God’s many blessings in many different ways! How exciting is that?
Creator of ALL, thank you for the light and the darkness. Thank you for the sun, moon, stars, and planets. Thank you for the mountains, oceans, and every living thing. Thank you, God, that we too may look at your work and see that it is good! Thank you for ALL the many blessings that we receive in many ways through God, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.