In our Voices Around the World posts, members of the RW team share what God is teaching them and what they are pondering. This month Bindu from the Ending Gendercide program has blessed us with an essay on oneness.
God dwells in the community of oneness. To be in oneness, more than one ‘unit’ is required. One cannot be united with just oneself. Christians worship God who is one, but who revealed Himself in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Thus the oneness of God is reflected in pluralities of persons. Three persons of the Godhead are united as one being.
The creation account in Genesis informs us that, after creating the earth in five days, God created humankind on the sixth day and rested on the seventh day (Genesis 1:1-2:2). Everything that God created was “good” (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12,15,18) and after the creation was completed, He found the whole creation “very good” (Genesis 1:31). However, before this assessment of “very good”, something was “not good” – man’s solitary existence (Genesis 2:18). God therefore created another human being (Genesis 2:19-22) who also bore the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). When the man first saw the second human being, he acknowledged her as a person like him, though she was differently designed. He acknowledged her as “bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh” (Genesis 2:23). Both of them carried the image and likeness of God.
It shows that God did not like the loneliness of man, but when another person, a woman, was created, man’s loneliness was gone. And God delighted in them and found His whole creation “very good” (Genesis 1:31). God was not pleased by having just “one person”, but His delight in creating plurality of persons like Himself is very evident. His intent for them was to live in oneness (Genesis 2:24).
God’s delight in creating the plurality of persons was also evident by the fact that He wished for them to multiply and fill the earth with people like them (Genesis 1:28). In the multiplication of the human race, God wanted to see His image and likeness on the earth rule over His creation and live in oneness. However, His wish was corrupted by the entry of sin into the world. By the entry of sin, man was not only separated from God but the oneness between man and woman was broken. They hid from God (Genesis 3:8) and when God asked them about their acts they blamed each other (Genesis 3: 12). The first consequence of sin was the separation of human beings from God and a rift between one another.
Community was reestablished when God reconciled the broken relationship between Himself and the humans by the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. He again begins to dwell in the community of His people. The Gospel writers affirm how God is present when two or three people are gathered in His name (Matthew 18:20). The people of God together reflect the image of God.
Sadly, even after two thousand years of Jesus’ incarnation and atoning sacrifice, relationships are still broken. One form of this brokenness is seen in the relationship between men and women. Women across the globe from every background are victims of bias and discrimination.
God intends that human beings live in a community of oneness and fellowship irrespective of their gender, racial, class, caste or ethnic differences (Galatians 3:28). Loving God is to love the community. ‘Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen’ (1 John 4:20).