Genesis begins with a community of the divine: “Let us…” this mysterious creator begins. I love that.
Let us… bring forth life.
Let us… call it good.
Let us… call this creation made in our image VERY good.
It is a unity of parts or persons that bring forth life. And yet this so often is NOT the case. Group behavior so often crushes the holy spirit. Reinhold Niebuhr got it right when he wrote Moral Man, Immoral Society. A person on her own can rise so close to the heights of God’s hope for us, a life just and replete with consideration for the least of these. But then place that person in a board room with social norms, peer pressure, or shareholders to please, and we enter in to a spiritual hole. Seed is scattered on the rocky ground and dries up.
The “let us” turns to “we can’t,” “what will others think,” and on and on. But the “let us” seems to say “let us get out of our way so that God might do God’s work.”
And if Genesis 18 is any indication, getting out of our way leads to laughter.
God comes in three sojourners. Always the three. Abraham knows this God anywhere: a community so close it looks like one. And let us not forget they are strangers. Hospitality, the art of getting out of our way, brings reward. But not as we know reward–fame, glamor, riches. Rather it reward the reward of our real deepest desires: wholeness, connection, love.
The three-in-one says, “Sarah shall bear a child.” Sarah, eavesdropping from behind the curtain hears, and “laughs to her self.” It is not the laughter of joy, yet. It is rather the laughter of “how absurd” or “too good to be true.”
The three-in-one hears. The sojourners ask, “Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?”
Or put another way, is anything too wonderful when we get out of our way to regard what is truly worthy and whole and just?