The story of creation
Where do we come from? Where are we going? And why do we exist? These are natural questions and the Catechism has the answers.
Edmund: Stories, good stories, all have 3 things in common. They have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Emily: Fair enough.
Edmund: But THE story, the most important story, the story of everything, starts with the author of the story, God. God exists before the story of salvation history even begins. God always was, is, and will be.
Emily: Alright, so do we know the beginning, middle, and end of the story?
Edmund: Yes, God the Father revealed this story throughout history and in Jesus Christ.
Emily: Even the end?
Edmund: Even the end. This all comes from our faith in God as the creator of heaven and earth. God created everything in the beginning. The middle is filled with the drama of man and woman living out their freedom and the consequences of their actions. And the end is about Jesus and the fulfillment of God’s eternal kingdom.
Emily: Okay, take us to the beginning.
Edmund: Before the story begins there’s the author of the story, God, the Trinity. Jesus revealed that God is three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is called the Holy Trinity and it is the central mystery of the Christian faith and life.
Emily: Oh yeah, three persons in one God.
Edmund: Yes, God is three persons, and one God. Which is kinda hard to wrap your head around.“Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” aren’t just three names for God. They really are three distinct persons, who are all fully God.
Emily: I’ll have to take your word for it.
Edmund: Well, don’t take my word for it. Ultimately, we have to take Jesus’ word for it. It is something that only could have been revealed by God. We won’t be able to fully experience and understand the trinity until we’re in heaven.
Emily: So is this the part where we say “in the beginning”?
Edmund: Genesis, the first book in the Bible, starts with these words: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
God, the Trinity, creates and orders the world out of nothing. This is important because it answers the deep fundamental human questions: Where do we come from? Where are we going? And why do we exist?
Emily: So because God is the creator of everything, we know that we come from God. The Catechism says, “Creation is the foundation of “all God’s saving plans,” the “beginning of the history of salvation” that culminates in Christ.” But how does this answer why we were created, and where are we going?
Edmund: God created the universe in the beginning, and everything in it, and created earth and filled it with plants and animals and narwhals. But there is a creature God created that is unlike any other. The human person is special because God didn’t make anything else in his image and likeness. We are the only creature on earth that God willed for its own sake. From creation, man and woman are created to live in perfect communion, in friendship with the Holy Trinity. To experience the love and goodness of God in heaven.
Emily: So what’s the middle of the story?
Edmund: The middle of the story is the drama of how we chose to live out what we are created for. We are created from love for love. But love means we have a free choice. God allows us to choose to act in alignment with how we are created, or to act against this, which is called sin.
Emily: So humans chose sin?
Edmund: Yes, God didn’t cause or create sin or evil, but he allows it because he respects our freedom. In the beginning, Adam and Eve were deceived by a fallen angel, the devil, and refusing to trust in God their creator they disobeyed him. Adam and Eve chose to trust themselves instead of God and his plan for them. Because of their actions, God banished them from the garden of Eden. But the effects of this first sin were lasting. This first sin, called “original sin”, brought sin into the world and every human is affected by this original sin.
Emily: How could this sin be passed down to us, though? Is it genetic?
Edmund: Original sin is not like a mark on us, but more like something missing from that original relationship Adam and Eve had with God. So instead of living forever with God in perfect friendship, we have a damaged relationship with God…
Emily: Well, sorry to say it but that’s not fair.
Edmund: Big time. But lucky for us that isn’t the end.
Emily: Oh good. So God doesn’t really abandon us, right?
Edmund: God tells us how the story ends. God planned, even from the beginning, to send his Son Jesus to save and redeem us from sin and death, which are the consequence of our sin. We are made for heaven, and God will win in the end. We can hear a hint of this immediately after Adam and Eve sin, in Genesis 3:15. God tells the devil “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” This hints at the coming of Jesus, a savior who will crush the head of sin and death, while sin and death strike a wounding, but not defeating, blow to Jesus.
Emily: Jesus comes and dies for our sins and rises in the resurrection, defeating sin and death?Edmund: Yes, but not only that. God, the Father and Son send the Holy Spirit to be with us, the Church. And through the Holy Spirit, we become adopted sons and daughters of God the Father, through the Sacraments of the Church. Through baptism we are freed of original sin and through the Eucharist we enter more fully into communion with God. We are created by God and for God. God who is the creator of heaven and earth. And that’s a pretty awesome story, one we can find ourselves in!
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