Posts Tagged ‘Creation’

Offering a Foundational Yes

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

Spirituality presents us with two possible starting points.

The first is the starting point of creation, a creation in which God invoked original blessing seven times … “and it was good”, a statement that eventually became it … “was very good.”

The second is the starting point of original collapse, original sin.  In the Biblical narrative, that staring point comes to Adam and Eve being sent from the Garden Eden.  Banished from paradice for sin.

Richard Rohr writes extensively on this topic.  And this topic is critical to our basic understanding of spirit.  The punch line … we must start, as God appears to, with original blessing, an original “yes”, a “yes” that grows through all time.

What does that “yes” say?

  1. The world is ok
  2. The universe is for us and on our side
  3. We are not alone.  God is with us. We are not the doer
  4. A foundational trust that it is going to be ok because God is good which creates an openness of mind. heart, and and body
  5. If God is good then I carry an inherent – an in-here – dignity in myself as do all others
In a practical sense, that means waking not with problem but with promise.  Not with blame but with gratitude.
And of course that is the context of New Church theology as well, a theology that holds that our inmost “spark” was created, formed, and remains for all time in the Divine, actually in the highest forms of love embedded in heaven.  We will wander and fall.  But the original blessing, nurtured for all time by God, remains.
Beautiful stuff.
Join me in saying “yes” to the day!

Grounded and Inspired

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

What we offer in terms of language is a dramatic gift.  It begins with Genesis, and God speaking the world into existence.  It then moves to Christ’s words, “It is not what people put into their mouths that makes them unclean. It is what comes out of their mouths that makes them unclean.”  (Matt. 15:11)

Life giving language takes two forms, language that (a) grounds and language that (b) inspires.

Language that grounds is language …

  1. That pulls us out of worry and anxiety down into God’s love and care
  2. That reminds us of our identity, our true self
  3. That forces a life-changing accountability through it candor

Language that inspires is language …

  1. That allows us to see a brighter future than we can currently see ourselves
  2. That moves us to visualize a re-imagined future
  3. That forces us out of stuckness … the status-quo belief that life “is what it is” and will never change

In this particular church, we hold that actually we are not accompanied through life by one guardian angel, but by two.  I wonder if the job of one is to ground us and maybe the other is to inspire.  Seems that is what the best people in our lives do.

Caught between Worlds

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

We live in a world of unintended consequences. Education in the US focused on ensuring that computer access for all children. The result? “Despite the educational potential of computers, the reality is that their use for education or meaningful content creation is minuscule compared to their use for pure entertainment,” said Vicky Rideout, author of the decade-long Kaiser study. “Instead of closing the achievement gap, they’re widening the time-wasting gap.”

Such information is sobering. And we could apply those same words to many areas of our lives outside of the education arena.    We eschew “meaningful creation” for “pure entertainment” over and over again.  I wonder if even the presence of the dichotomy is apparent to many.  I know for myself, presented with “pure entertainment” or “meaningful creation” I will chose pure entertainment more times than not.  There is little choice or decision making as it were.

And that is why, in a rather old fashioned sounding way, church remains an important cultural counterweight for families.  Churches must work more diligently at the craft, work at nurturing environments of “meaningful creation.”   And the communities that shape churches/ synagogues/ mosques must forward the impetus, the energy, the agenda behind and within that endeavor.  There is no “Church” and “Community.”  Theres is the “Church Community.”

We are caught in the world between “creation” and “entertainment.”  ”Entertainment” is not a ‘sweaty toothed madman.’ Its danger lies in it very appeal.  We slide into it unconsciously and with all pleasure centers on high alert.  The result?  A deadly, numbing sleep.

So do we want to get on with creation or not?  There is room for creativity.  There is room for old and new.  There is room for meaning.  There is room for us to raise our hands. I believe a lot of us are tired of the time wasting gap.

A Jumping Off Place

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

New Church theology holds many simply precious truths. One that struck me when I read it last week is the idea that salvation is “an ongoing act of creation.” Many see salvation as an act avoiding damnation. Salvation then is not about creating anything but far more about avoiding punishment.

But lets just think for a moment what that might mean to see salvation as a creative act – if that was our “jumping off place.”  Creation itself is about growth, reproduction, change, even adventure. Imagine those being the antonyms for “salvation”!

I feel in many ways my eyes opening wider and wider.  Now that is not about some grand pastoral insight – because we all know that is in short supply.  It is about eyes widening as I witness more and more people living into a church that is in itself a creative endeavor.  Just this week ….

Baseball: Angel gave Angela 3 Philly baseballs from the NLCS for me to give Brayden Walsh and his parents.  Brayden, as many of you are aware, is a young man battling some serious health issues.  Brayden’s comments to his mom, on receiving the gifts, was that he was never going to wash his hands again.  Beautiful stuff.  That gift was a a gift creation.

Roofs: Sam wanted to know the name of a pastor I referenced in a service, a pastor who moved from the Main Line to Kensington because that is where he felt could best use him.  Sam wants to get in touch with him so he can offer to repairs roofs for those in need for free.  Beautiful stuff.  That gift was a gift of creation.

Cleaning: Elizabeth would like to get a group together to help clean the office.  I am not sure how she knew it needed cleaning – alright actually I do know – because it is dirty.  Our office serves small groups, as well as a being our “home base” during the week.   So that helps all of us.  Beautiful stuff.  That gift was a gift of creation.

Tithing: From an online viewer in Canada, “We are committed to modeling a tithe and beyond….The Vision of sharing these beautiful truths through meaningful contacts with a world that so desperately needs them is just as compelling as the day we signed on to help build a better distribution network to share these precious truths with the world. With this in mind, we are committed to placing our modest gifts with those parts of our worldly organization dedicating themselves to expanding efforts to reach out to others.”   Beautiful stuff.  That gift was a gift creation.

So yes, salvation is an act of creation.  In our own way, lets be an act of creation as we join that wider project singing into our hearts.   What a great place to jump off from!