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Jun 07, 2020

Created Again

Created Again

Speaker: Rob McClellan

Series: June 2020

Category: Communion Sunday

Keywords: creation

1. Have you ever noticed God speaking in the plural in the creation story before? What do you make of this? 2. What does this creation story have to say to us today? 3. What is the relationship between religion and science? 4. What do you make of the fact so many claim to experience God in nature? 5. How does this creation story differ from that of the story of Adam & Eve which follows? Where is their overlap and where is there divergence?
Today's Scripture
Genesis 1:1-2:3

  1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”;      and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

6And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome.    And it was so. 8God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

9And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.”   And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together God called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.”  And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16God made the two great lights — the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night — and the stars. 17God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.”   21So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.”   And it was so. 25God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 27So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.       28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude.   2And on the seventh day God finished the work that God had done, and God rested on the seventh day from all the work that God had done.   3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that God had done in creation.  THIS IS HOLY WISDOM, HOLY WORD.  THANKS BE TO GOD. 

Created Again

In our home, we have been raising these…, butterflies.  What a symbol of resurrection this time of year.  We did this with the help of a kit, a little jar with caterpillars and their food, and a net basket, all self-contained, everything they needed to transform, even the nectar to give them as they’re sent off on their life’s journey. 

Oh, to wrap up in a cocoon right now,  , safe and contained, and not just ourselves, but everything, everything and just start again.  Oh, to emerge from this more beautifully, to take off in the flight, for that is for what we were meant.  God once said, “Let there be,” and there was, and there is…and yet we need to be created again.  Say it again, God.

A scholar of the Older Word, Bill Brown, once pointed out that the seven days of creation in correspond to the architectural layout of the ancient temple. .  You see here the symmetry between the two sides.  Creation, then, forms the structure for all that is to exist in a state of worship by its very being.  The front of the temple is marked by the divine rest at the end of the creative week.  It is not an empty rest, but a full one, in complete contrast to that which preceded the creation, holy rest.

 And yet, here we are, so empty, in the midst of so much unrest……so much unrest…How I long for rest.  How I ache for those who have not rested for a long time and cannot truly rest until things change.

In the church, today is known as Trinity Sunday.     Who cares? What does that have to do with anything going on?  Everything.  The Trinity is an image we put to the notion that God is both more than one and one.  God creates diversely because God is diversity in relationship. The Christian image for God is the model of how to be in relationship, more specifically in love.

The temptation, the alluring temptation, is to say that when there is not total harmony, it’s broken, the great temple is fractured, creation cannot worship.  So, every struggle is something to be solved, put down, ceased at all costs.  But, what we know from life is that life is just as much struggle as it is passivity.  Struggle is not a departure from the divinely created order; it is fundamental part of it.   Does not the seedling struggle to burst from its shell, making its way through the soil once it is baptized by water?  Does it not have to push to reach the light?  Is not growth, in fact, a dance between rest and reaction, internal gathering and upward movement?  We, then, must take up the struggle, not put it down.  Does Jesus not show us this?  Did the prophets not call out righteous struggle, that the community might grow into the image for which it was created?  So, when people cry out about black people being killed by police, the invitation is to join them in the struggle, which is all of our struggle, because those of us like me who are not they are supposed to be in love with them. 

The struggle is not a departure from the ideal state of rest.  Rest is the culmination of righteous struggle, the culmination of the creative act.

I’ll let you in on a secret.  Creation didn’t happen.  Creation is happening. Every moment is in the midst of creation.  Something in the cosmos is being created.  Someone is being created. .  Some groups are being created in every moment.  And the miracle is that we have been invited into being co-creators with God.  Like birth, the work of creation is sometimes painful.  Like birth, it is worth it.

This part feels hard. but the struggle is necessary…and while it may be hard to see from inside it, we’re not hanging there alone.    I can’t take the pain away.  I’m not here to do that. What I can do and what I am here to do, is offer nectar .  We have been given everything we need.  Are we brave enough for the transformation?  Are we in love enough?  If so, we have the capacity for this…

.   Christ is risen.  Our turn.  Amen.