Thursday, January 30, 2014

IN THE BEGINNING. Genesis 1/3-31

“...And God separated the light from the darkness…” -Genesis 1:4
So begins distinction and separation: 
Light and Dark. 
Day and Night.
Land and Sea. 
Earth and Sky. 
Above and Below. 
Sun and Moon. 
Hot and Cold. 
Animate and Inanimate. 
Creature and Environment.
Male and Female. 

These distinctions aren't a disunity, but are that which gives substance to what unity means. Compliments and balances embraced by different polarities. Interconnections and contrasts. One not being the other but not making sense without the other, and with the other. Much like the ancient concept of yin-yang and the Taijitu symbol, Elohim creates harmonies and tensions and calls them a whole. Elohim, that mysterious Plural Oneness, creating plural oneness.
The six days of creation, from Genesis 1:3-31, contain interesting correspondency. If you look not only at the contrasts within each day, but also between days, there's a pattern.

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Often we think our duty as spiritual people is to be properly dividing up this from that. Sacred from secular. Holy from unholy. And in some important ways that's sometimes necessary. Even valid. But how much more spiritual might it be to understand that, from the Beginning, harmony and correspondence were God's design, not severing and marginalization. Where the impulse to push away that which doesn't fit (a behavior not exclusive to Christianity, or any religion, as all humans sever from themselves that which they don't like or fear) is trumped by an ability to incorporate it, a longing to find peace with it, to recognize it not as unclean or wrong or un-this or anti-that but as a potential part of the whole.

It is a holy thing to allow the differences of others -even deep, seemingly polar differences- to remain intact as we sit at the common table of faith. I struggle here. My instinct is that different is bad, or different is incomplete and needs my assistance. My role as a "teaching pastor" exacerbates this. It takes an enormous amount of maturity to be able to disagree with one and yet still look at the idea as having merit. To look at different people and see different, not wrong. It takes a maturity that most of us have never had because so many of us have learned our job is to properly uphold the THIS while dutifully renouncing the THAT. 

How comprehensively we need God to give us eyes to see. In all ways. Our inability to figure out how to live at one with the environment God gave us is a parallel with our inability to live at one with other people. We struggle with oneness of all kinds for much the same reasons; a general misunderstanding of relationships as peace-through-control-and-augmentation and our fear of losing "me" in the "us". We have a ways to go before we can see our relationships as peace because all is already connected. Elohim made it as such. We don't really make oneness. We discover it under our dividing.

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Before Jesus was arrested and crucified, he prayed. According to St. John's account, he prayed and prayed and prayed. And at one point in the lengthy prayer, Jesus said this from John 17. Perhaps, as you ponder all reality having been designed to dance together, you can give his words, and the original intent of all creation, a place in your day. 

"Holy Father, keep these people you've entrusted to me in your name, that they may be one, even as You and I are one ... I don't ask this for these apostles only, but also for everyone else who will believe in me through their message, that they may all be one, just as you are in me and I am in you, Father- may they be one in us...I have given to them the glory you gave me, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one." Jesus, John 17:11-23

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