Following last weeks Third Space I tried to use as few words as possible and allow some time for contemplation. We were also going to be very Franciscan so we began with:
The Canticle of the Creatures
Only to you, Most High, do they belong
and no one is worthy to call upon your name.
May you be praised, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially Sir brother sun,
through whom you lighten the day for us.
He is beautiful and radiant with great splendour.
He signifies you, O Most High.
Be praised, my Lord, for sister moon and the stars,
clear and precious and lovely, they are formed in heaven.
Be praised, my Lord, for brother wind;
and by air and clouds, clear skies and all weathers,
by which you give sustenance to your creatures.
Be praised, my Lord, for sister water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, for our sister, mother earth,
who sustains and governs us
and produces diverse fruits
and coloured flowers and grass.
St. Frances of Assisi 1224 (abridged)
I am making the whole of creation new . . . It will come true. . . It is already done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. — Revelation 21: 5-6
Who is speaking here at the very end of the Bible? Whoever it is offers an entire and optimistic arc to all of history. It is a historical and cosmic message for all time. It offers humanity hope and vision. History appears to have a direction and a purpose; it is not just a series of isolated events.
So is this the Universal Christ speaking? Does Jesus of Nazareth talk this way?
Colossians 1:15-23 New International Version (NIV)
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together … whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
Is Christ simply Jesus’ last name?
Is Christ a revealing title that deserves our full attention?
How is Christ’s function or role different from Jesus’ role?
What was God up to in those first moments of creation?
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” John 1
“God’s “first idea” and priority was to make the Godself both visible and shareable. The word used in the Bible for this idea was the word or Logos, taken from Greek philosophy; I would translate Logos as the “Blueprint” or Primordial Pattern for reality. The whole of creation—not just Jesus—is the beloved community, the partner in the divine dance. Everything is the “child of God.” No exceptions. When you think of it, what else could anything be? All creatures must in some way carry the divine DNA of their Creator.
This is why I can see Christ in my dog, the sky, and all creatures, and it’s why you, whoever you are, can experience God’s unadulterated care for you in your garden or kitchen. You can find Christ’s presence in your beloved partner or friend, an ordinary beetle, a fish in the deepest sea that no human will ever observe, and even in those who do not like you and those who are not like you.”
In Christ the physical universe has become a holy thing and the material world is the place where we can comfortably worship God just by walking on earth, by revelling in it, loving it and respecting it and joining the divine dance.
With thanks to Richard Rohr.
As you walk through the park contemplate and join with the Divine Dance. Love, respect and Revel in those things you see and hear that you feel are “good” and which you can see as part of the “divine dance”.
And … It is much more
As with all theological stand points more questions are raised than questions answered.
If the Divine DNA is in all things then what is happening when there is conflict between creatures of any kind?
Pray for the Godself to become foremost in ourselves, and between all God’s creatures.
May deep peace be in our thinking
May deep peace be in our hearts
May there be deep peace between us and God’s good earth
And may the deep peace of Christ be with us.
Sharing bread and wine
As we share bread and wine we are mindful
Lord Jesus that you laid down your life
so that we and creation could be made new;
Mindful of how you took your life up again,
so that we and creation could be filled with your abundant life;
Mindful that we cannot earn or purchase this privilege,
but that it is your grace which calls us,
and your grace which ensures that all creation may be one and whole.
May your Spirit work in these fruits of earth, this bread and wine,
so that they may become for us a sharing in Christ’s body and blood.
May your Spirit work in us, who are children of earth,
so that we may be transformed into the likeness of Christ,
taking his life, his care, his compassion, & his justice to all creation. Amen.
(We share the bread & the wine)
In this moment we have remembered
That the whole creation is held in the hand of God
and that the whole creation is filled with the life of God;
That the whole creation will be renewed according to the promise of God
and that the whole creation reflects the glory of God from eternity to eternity.
And so we go in the confidence that comes from knowing that
Christ’s limitless grace,
God’s infinite love,
and the Holy Spirit’s relentless companionship,
always encircle us. Amen.
With thanks to Brian McLaren & John van de Laar.