A house is just a house – a structure made of wood and steel and concrete – but when empty, it falls apart and eventually will decompose and become part of the earth. Matter, energy taking form, constantly changes and reacts to it’s environment, changing and being changed. However, when matter becomes infused with spirit, then life happens. Billions of years ago, we find evidence of a second Big Bang – a second explosion of energy that we call life: we find the evidence of matter becoming infused with spirit – a transformation where the energy of creation began a movement toward conscious awareness. Throughout billions of years, creation constantly changed and adapted, moving always toward greater consciousness, which brings with it, both freedom and responsibility. In consciousness, we are created in the image and likeness of God, given responsibility for the ongoing gift of life becoming.
As the book of Genesis teaches us, we are given the gift of freedom to choose life or death – to to care for our world and for one another. We are aware of our own limitations on our freedom, where as children, we are jealous of one another, afraid of the dark, and capable of choosing death – a refusal to accept responsibility for ourselves or our world We find it much easier to exist, centered on self and the small little world that we create for ourselves and in which we seek security.
We make ourselves into gods – we become Caesar, declaring ourselves to be gods, and at the same time creating all kinds of gods that satisfy our insecurities. We build shrines to ourselves, assuming that what we accomplish will make others revere us. We humans create great corporations, governments, church buildings, and thousands of diverse institutions as shrines to ourselves. We become part of those institutions, confident that we share in the glory and power of what temple we have created. We strive to be remembered. While some achieve the pinnacle of success, others become sycophants, walking in the aura of the gods; those who have achieved great success as business giants, great athletes, stars of the entertainment world or religions. Fans will dress like their heroes, want their autograph or any moment that will help them feel appreciated and accepted. We are driven to acquire relics that are holy and help us feel better about ourselves. We forget or fail to discover that wonder of creation within ourselves, as we bask in the shadow of others. In all of this, we create social and economic classes, dividing ourselves and deciding that some are more worthy than others; we create divisions based on gender, race, sexuality, religion, intelligence, wealth or hundreds of other artificial lines of separation or division.
The scriptures, always looking backward, speak to us of the ongoing creation. We learn of our own limitations, weaknesses, blindness and deafness. We learn of our greed, our fears and pain. We also learn about that Spirit of Creation that keeps us moving forward; slowly but surely, deeper into life, conscious and growing. We keep learning that we are all connected, in spite of our fears and nightmares; that we need each other. We recognize that ultimately, we are not god – nor gods. We begin to learn that the Spirit of Life has a mind of it’s own and that we are part of something much grander – much larger than we can ever imagine. Life requires faith and trust – in the Spirit that moves and breathes through us. We need the faith of Jesus. Our church or community of faith is and has always been in a state of flux – of transformation. We are in the middle of a major shift which becomes visible only through looking backwards as the prophets of old have always done.
We keep learning that stagnation is a choice for death. As we look at nature itself; at each human person from birth to death, we see a constant impulse to join in the struggle for life. As life progresses there is a constant push and pull of energy – but always in the direction of life which requires relationship – a connection that energizes and that we call love. Stagnation leads to extinction – and there is always that reality of evolution – the world is filled with extinct species that changed and grew through the great diversity of existence. We live with the constant fear of letting go of the old; of allowing the old to die so that the new can be born. The Scriptures tell us of God emptying self in order to become one with humanity; a story of a love that seeks intimate relationship. God becoming human flesh and joining in the suffering and struggle to come alive is our story. We are called to join in the struggle – sharing with all of creation – to become one and to see that that Spirit that breathes on our world is the Spirit that resides within all of creation – we are indeed connected as much as a branch is connected to the vine with the roots deep within the earth. We are called to see the wonder of creation in all of creation and it starts with seeing ourselves as sacred and holy – in our own unique and special way – we reflect the face of Jesus who reflects the face of God the Creator of all – Abba – Father and Spirit Mother. The structure and the spirit together create our home. Our humanity filled with the Spirit becomes human and holy.