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So, this meme trend started a couple of years ago. You’d take a picture and title it:
“How it started.” And follow the image with another titled: How it ended or how it’s going, it gave folks a chance to show off growth, success, progressions, or endings.
And I do think there is a benefit to seeing the scope, the transition of time, even if it is a simplified view, missing the years of struggle, pain, joy, triumph, years where it seemed nothing happened or nothing changed. so, with all that in mind,
how it started: It started in chaos. The spirit moved over the waters, chaos was controlled & subdued. As the earth began to take shape, there were plants & animals & humans, each was we filled with the spark of its creator. Each was given a place & a purpose: bees to pollinate the flowers, earthworms to work the soil, goats to mow the field grass, and humans to care for all of it.
All of part was created to live and function in interdependence and in harmony with one another. Yes, that meant some would be food for the survival of others but that is the great circle of life–a circle where all of the points connect to all of the other points. With interconnected parts humans were given the responsibility to Care for, to overlook the wellbeing of all the other creatures humans, made in the image of God Were told we have dominion, but that implied not exerting control, but assuring Creation’s safety recognizing the interconnection and the balance in all things.
And through all things, through all of creation, that Spirit that moved over the waters still moved, still revealed the ordering of creation the interconnected of humans, plants, animals, each part connected to each other.
But humans chose to take themselves Out of the order of all things. They chose to disconnect themselves from the interconnectedness. No, worse, they chose to deny their interconnectedness with the world around them. They chose knowledge over compassion, authority over connection, power over community. The relationship with creation was broken; so their relationship with other humans became transactional. They no longer saw the image of God in each other. So their relationship with the Divine was broken
It’s wild to me that Paul, 2000 years ago, was talking about all of creation cry out as in labor pains. First, if creation was crying out 2000 years, what would it look like today when so many of us are so disconnected from the natural world around us. Would we hear it if creation were crying? Would we recognize its tears? its voice? its cry? Because I think our world cries out in pain and in hope for what could have been and what could still be.
In March of this year, articles began being published by biologists that plants scream when they are in distress: when they are cut or dehydrated, at frequencies, we just can’t here. Imagine being in a quiet field that is really filled with noise–all these plants crying out to be well.
So maybe Paul was on to something. Maybe all of creation is crying out, hoping for the God intended, the Spirit moving, whole. & abundant, interconnected parts of creation.
For Paul, the redemption of humanity is the redemption of all of creation. When we find our place in relationship with God, we find our place in the world, and our place in all of creation.
But we lose our way. We no longer hear the crying out of the earth. We’ve lost our ability to understand the language of the earth. We have forgotten the intended relationship of all of creation, of interconnection & abundance & blessing & Justice & love. We have lost our relationship to each other. We’ve lost the language to listen to each other and we’ve lost the language to speak blessing. love & justice to each other. We have lost the language of Good News. We have focused on our differences. We have used them as weapons. We have built walls instead of nurturing connections.
When the spirit came to the church the 1st gift it was given was language. The first gift the disciples were given was able to speak in a language that someone else was able to understand. It wasn’t about giving others were given the ability to understand the disciples but that the disciples told the story and the good news of Jesus in a way that was accessible to the world around them. The 1st gift of the Holy Spirit to the church was to connect. The 1st gift that the disciples were given in the Holy Spirit was the language to connect and to bring Justice and blessing and liberation. The 1st gift of the Holy Spirit was to bring together pieces that had been separated that had been disconnected, to bring communities together that were separated by culture and distance and language and violence.
And the spirit keeps showing up. The spirit keeps showing up in the communal life of the church and its individual member, teaching us again and again what it is to live connected one to another. The spirit moves and draws in giving us language to enter into each other’s experiences and worlds and cult sure is to express the good news in a way that it can be heard. That good news is that there is life and life abundant, that there is liberation and wholeness, but there is a God and a community Striving for Justice and love.
And when we live in that connection. When we embrace what the spirit is, when we feel that it moves through each of us and through all of creation, we rebuild those relationships with each part of the divine and the created world. In the midst of reconciliation, in living in the world in kindness and generosity and Justice and blessing and love, we get taste a glimpse of our relationship with the divine
The spirit continues showing up and moving to show us, to reveal to us again and again that God is always working and striving to live in relationship.
The spirit shows up again and again and reminds us, reveals to us, that we are never outside of God’s love or presents, that God is always calling us to see, to feel, to embrace, to live into that interdependent relationship and community with all of with each other, with all of creation, with the Divine.
And that is vitally important because like creation, we cry out of the world as it should be: one where everyone and every creature has enough. A world where no one is taken advantage of or treated as less than the God-breathed, image bearers that they are; where those who mourn are comforted and those who hunger and thirst will be satisfied. A world where the sick and the imprisoned are visited and treated with dignity
and coats are given to those without. It’s the world Jesus painted on mountain when he called out blessed are the peacemakers and the world he told about in stories of sheep and goats, of kingdoms and feasts.
The world creation is crying out for, and we hope for and the Spirit helps us pray for in the sighs that have found their way into the depths of our souls, the last bit of hope buried deep, clinging on, a tiny ember found when the Spirit show shows up moves and breathes and ignites in our hearts. The Spirit reminds us that God is still here still seeking us and there is nothing, no darkness, no pain, no denial nor separation, no cruelty nor abuse, no sickness nor isolation, no loneliness nor crowds, not doubt nor faith, not even death. There is nothing that can separate you from God, from the connection with the Divine, from your relationship with the Divine, from your interdependence and interconnectedness with all of creation. There is nothing that can separate you from the groans and the crying out of creation, from the hope that all of creation has in our remembering, and our participating in the midwifing of a hopeful future, into the world as it was intended to be, into the world of justice and compassion and love. The world we see in the life of Christ, his willingness to suffer the consequences of radical love at the hands of the empire, and the resurrection to new life so that we too can have new life, renewed life, abundant life, whole life
life in relationship with all of creation.
It is God’s promise that never the less we are loved, never the less we are known, never the less we are welcomed, never the less we have a place in creation, never the less we are called, always loved.
Take a breath
feel it through your whole self.
feel the Spirit, the wind,
This ancient breath
binds us together
for we are all made of the same:
the dream of the Spirit
that called a Saviour
from a cross to a tomb to a beach;
the very flow of re-creation,
the breath of life,
the promise of love.
This is our celebration,