The Power of Truly Believing in the Maker of Heaven and Earth
When we affirm belief in one God who made heaven and earth we are proclaiming more than a belief that God created the heavens and the earth ex nihilo (out of nothing). We are affirming that the meaning of our very existence in time and space, whenever and wherever we may be, ultimately has its source in God. We affirm that we are all His creatures, born of earth, destined for heaven, and always called to share in the superabundance of His goodness and love, the heart of all that is and ever shall be. God was not under any constraint to create the heavens and earth. Rather, He freely created all things out of love and a desire to share His goodness and love.
Metropolitan Hilarion notes in his Catechism, “Even His love, which, like any true love, needs an object to love, could not constrain Him to create. His love already found its perfection in the communion of the Hypostases of the Holy Trinity where each Hypostasis is both subject and object, lover and beloved. God created the world because He wanted the superabundant life and goodness within Himself to be shared by other beings that would become partakers of divine beatitude and holiness. Creation was an act which involved all three Persons of the Holy Trinity: ‘By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth’ (Psalm 33:6). At the beginning of his Gospel, Saint John speaks of the creative role of God the Word: ‘All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made’ (John 1:3). The Bible also has this to say about the Spirit: ‘The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters’ (Gen.1:2). The Word and the Spirit are, to use an image of Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, the ‘two hands’ of the Father. This denotes the co-operation, the working together of the three persons: Their will is one, but each has a specific, different action.”
If we could make “I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth” a core belief guiding our thoughts and actions, our fundamental orientation toward the world and others around us would be changed in mighty and wonderful ways. As God the Holy Trinity together created this good world out of love, we are called to work together to create something good in our lives out of love. We were created to reflect that triune love so that we might become partakers in the triune life and love of God. When our actions and our thoughts are guided by love and by goodness, we are being true to our most true selves. And we need not be afraid to do good and to love, because love and goodness are woven into the very fabric of the universe. The fact that the Fall has somewhat diminished our ability to perceive that original intent in no way invalidates it. In his commentary on Psalm 86, Augustine writes, “Fair is heaven, but fairer is the Maker of heaven. If you say although I see the heavens, I do not see Him, it is because you have eyes to see the heavens, but not yet a heart to see the Maker of heaven. For this reason, He came from heaven to earth, to cleanse your heart and so that He who made heaven and earth might also be seen.” The principal reason for the Incarnation is the restoration of this original intent in the heart of all creation, but most especially in the heart of man.
God is the Maker of Heaven and Earth. If we appropriated this as one of our core beliefs, how differently would we conduct ourselves in our daily lives? We would know that wherever we are, we are ultimately in our Father’s house. Beholding a glorious sunset, following a bird soaring through the open sky, looking down upon delicate flower blooming in the morning dew, we would recognize God’s incomprehensible love and immense goodness. And we would feel safe and know that we are loved. We would have the conviction that we belong with and to all that is good and worthy of love in this world. And like a child running into its mother’s arms, our movements and thoughts would reflect that same goodness and love. We would have a respect and a reverence for God’s creation that would harbor a healthy sense of respect and reverence for self. We wouldn’t throw trash out the window of our car, not because of a potential fine, but because God is the Maker of Heaven and Earth and our Maker as well. As to our interactions with those around us, we would see them as an extension of God’s good creation, an extension of ourselves, worthy of affirmation and worthy of love. And in affirming the goodness and innate loveability of our brethren and sisters, we would further affirm the goodness and loveability of our own soul in the eyes of the Lord. Each moment of this life, like a spark of divine creation ex nihilo could become an occasion for glimpsing the providential love of the Creator. Rather than perceiving life as full of drudgery, suffering and pain, we might though the eyes of faith see through the somber reality of the fall to the bright glory of God who pursues us all the days of our lives and calls us to His glory and to be partakers of His own divine life. If we could only believe in our heart of hearts that God the Father Almighty is Maker of Heaven and Earth, with all that such a belief entails, how very different our lives and this world of ours would be!