The Structure of the Universe

by Charlotte Long, Youth Ministries

In the Bible - the Great Love Poem of our practice - the beginning of everything has Yahweh saying, "Let us make humanity in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves" (Genesis 1:26). The use of the plural pronoun here - us - is an incredible intuition of a concept that at the time had not yet been written about formally. We would later decide to call this concept the Trinity. And as we continue to explore, we focus not on the fact that the Trinity is created by the number 3, although that is not insignificant, but the revelation that the Trinity is a picture of community; it is certainly more than 1 or 2, and it is a circle. If the nature of God is relationship itself, that means that God is a constant cycle, a constant refreshing of giving and receiving.

Richard Rohr suggests that this part of Genesis shows that God is not looking for worshippers, or playthings or slaves. God is looking for images of the Trinitarian relationship to be reflected on the Earth, to make the Divine visible and tangible. Everything God creates is meant to communicate what this relationship is about - for God says, "let us make [it] in our image." This relationship that I keep referring to is, of course, also called Love (note the capital "L"). As we can see, this relationship circle is in the Bible, it is in the way God is quoted, it is in Jesus' death and resurrection, and it is in nature. As Teilhard de Chardin, writes, "The physical structure of the universe is love."

Pause then to consider the story of the Death of Jesus that we are about to explore this April. We know it is the story of wonder; of sadness and hope in the dark; of friends loving each other; and of risk. And we know somewhere in us that by the end of Holy Week, it reveals itself to be a story of Love. By working backwards then, we can see how it is a story of the Cycle, the Trinity, the ever-giving and receiving of God. That which dies, rises up again. What if Jesus didn't die to put a stopper on death? What if Jesus died to show once and for all ("now in technicolor!") that death has never been the end? The Cycle (i.e. the relationship of God, the Trinity, Love) has always existed! Since God said, "let US make things that reflect US!"

What if Jesus came to remind us of the Genesis story? That the universe was born already in relationship, already in constant communion with itself? And that we are the only ones who resist it.