In the beginning Elohyim¹, the One God who is True and who Lives, the God who is Three in One, the God besides whom there is no other god².
And this true, living God who is perfect Oneness is also a community of three divine personalities: the Father, divine Lifegiver; the Son, divine Utterance; and the Spirit, divine Breath. In the eternal community of Elohyim each Member is covenantally connected to the other two Members. Disunity, desire for dominion and conflict are unknown. Within this community of absolute love working through absolute authority, unbroken Oneness flows continuously between the Members in perfect fluidity of purpose, intention and will.
Somewhere in the boundless realms of everlasting, Elohyim God, the Three who are One, chose to express His great, unlimited love through the act of creation. Breath brooded in travailing devotion willing forth all that was in Elohyim’s mind; Utterance gave voice to Elohyim’s intention declaring “Let there be…..”, calling forth light from darkness, order from disorder, shape and form from nothingness; and Lifegiver sealed Elohyim’s purpose, which is always abundant Life, pouring Himself into all that was being created.
But even though Elohyim God saw all that was brought forth was good³, still He desired something more: a further expression of Himself beyond that which had been already created, a vessel with which to share His perfect community of Oneness.
So Elohyim, the Three who are One, chose to create humanity: “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ……”⁴. From the dust of the earth Utterance called forth form into the body of a new being, Breath entered to create a place for Elohyim to dwell, and Lifegiver poured in vibrant, endless Life. The first human being was created containing all that was needed to reproduce life, breath and utterance after his own kind. And in this created human did Utterance, Breath and Lifegiver ordain that His own Image of Three-in-Oneness should be reflected, in the form of body, soul and spirit⁵. And into this being He also poured His likeness, which is His goodness.
No other created life form expressed the divine Three in One community in such perfection. Though other creation had received a measure of Life and Breath⁶, no other had been endowed with a holy, spiritual sanctuary for Elohyim’s co-habitation, and on no other had the creative power of Utterance been bestowed. To this being alone did Three in One Elohyim reveal Himself in fullness.
Even so, Elohyim God was not yet entirely satisfied, for it was not good ‘for the man to be alone.’⁷ The created human had been ushered into Divine Community, yet had no means of expressing or growing community with his own kind. So in the counsel of His own perfect wisdom Elohyim removed a part of the human, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, and formed another being with which he might experience oneness.
When Elohyim brought the two together, the first human community was born: the community of one male and one female. The same in essence but different in expression, they were perfect counterparts, equal to one another in value and authority, each bearing the image of Elohyim God. Each belonged to Elohyim and to the other freely and unconditionally in perfect covenantal community, devoid of desire for dominion or conflict of will, reflecting the Divine Community that was their life source. And it was Elohyim’s clear desire for the membership of this initial expression of perfect human community to increase, for He blessed them and said: “Be fruitful and multiply.”⁸
It was only then that Elohyim looked on all He had done and was deeply satisfied, declaring that His workmanship was abundantly, exceedingly good⁹.
But when humanity fell from perfection to corruption through sin, we lost our perfect communion with Elohyim and with one another. The unbroken community of oneness between male and female was shattered. Rather than reproducing offspring in the image of God, future generations would bear the fallen image of Adam¹⁰. Human communities went on to experience ever increasing division through jealousies, greed, contentions, murder and all manner of catastrophic disputes. Families separated into clans, which then became tribes, which then became nations. War and tyranny became normal human experience and so it goes.
The Fall robbed humanity of any ability to maintain community. Even with the best and noblest intentions, man simply cannot create true and authentic community, for community did not originate with man but in the Three-in-Oneness of Elohyim. All true community must flow forth from that divine source, for it is from that long ago knowledge of Oneness humanity still remembers and yearns for the sense of belonging we commonly call ‘community’.
Part Two of Exploring Community coming soon.
⁶Acts 17:25 NASB
© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2014 Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included. To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.
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