(17) . . . maker of heaven and earth

Why did God create the world? From all eternity, the loving communion of Father-Son-Holy Ghost was fully and completely self-sufficient. God was not driven to create the world by some inner need. He was not starving, or poor, or lonely. Nor did he make the world one day just because of a chance whim or a passing fancy. It was simply that the perfect love between Father-Son-Holy Ghost was so glorious that there ought to be more like it. Something so infinitely valuable ought to be infinitely multiplied.

So God set out to build a world like a palace of mirrors which would reflect the light of the Trinity’s holy love from every possible direction. He would make only things that could do this. Thus, to banish darkness, emptiness, and formlessness, God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light. Then he made his created light into matter. There arose before him an unbelievable multitude of ingenious substances with a host of incredible functions. He brought some of this dead stuff to life and made all kinds of living things. In his workshop—this world-—-God has continually been making new things out of old, working up his first basic materials into ever higher and higher forms. The lower gave up its existence for the higher —a sort of elementary sacrifice that foreshadowed Christ’s fulfilling sacrifice. Every one of them tends to hold together in unity and wholeness for its lifetime. Thus each atom and cell, each organism and planet, reflects in its own way something of the unity and wholeness of Father-Son-Holy Ghost. Stones always seem so silent to me, but Jesus said that to the ear of God they ceaselessly cry out their praise of his holy love. Throughout millions of years God has enjoyed his work and his creatures.

When God was about to make man, he paused before opening this tremendous new chapter of his creation. Into man’s being and powers he would put all the processes which he had already worked out in the lower realms of creation—and a great deal more. As the ground is for plants, and as plants are for animals, and all of them for man, so man would be specially for God. In being gathered up into man, all lesser things would share in the glory of man. And it would be man’s glory to bear the image of God, to be consciously and willingly the reflector of God’s holy love. God’s Son was so in love with the whole project that he was prepared to die to bring it to pass. He would join himself to the earth, to live out in it the greatest love possible to a creature. Even if all other men failed to fulfill their destiny, the Son of God as Son of man would bring all creatures and all history to their highest meaning and fulfillment in himself. In Jesus Christ the whole world which God had made, man and all, was gathered up to show forth the perfection of God’s holy love. Christ was found worthy to inherit the world’s power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor, glory, and blessing. His song of love was sung to God on behalf of all creation. In him God had achieved his great goal at least once in history. In Christ we have the key to the purpose of God’s whole creation, especially to the meaning of man.