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Posts Tagged ‘creation’


Psalm 150:6: All Things

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Sometimes, when all things fall into place just the right way, we feel our connection with all of creation . . . and we understand that it is God, and it is good.

God says: I know that you think that you are apart and separate from everyone and everything else.  That is the illusion which the human covering creates.  I know that it is difficult to remember that you are nearly entirely water, a chemical soup held together by your skin; but if you can remember this, you will understand better why it is so important that you come to terms with the people and things that alienate you. I am the universe.  You are created in my image, and I yearn to be in union with you.  Because you are already one with my universe, and because the universe praises me, you feel best when you can be a part of that praise.  Come out of hiding . . . and sing.  Come to me.  I will wait for you . . . always.  Let all of your breath praise me.  I hold you and protect you always. 

Let us remember that we are in union with all creation . . . that this communion is God’s intent . . . and that this union is good.


Image from: http://epitemnein-epitomic.blogspot.com/2012/03/unity-of-fellowship-in-holy-spirit.html

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Psalm 36:5: Faithfulness

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Psalm 36:5Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, and your faithfulness to the clouds.

When we look at intense moonlight, at an amazing formation of clouds, at a flock of birds on wing, at people healing and helping one another, we know that God has created all, and we know that God remains present to his creation at all times and in all ways.  Even though we may feel lost, alone, hurt, frightened or confused, we can be certain that we are an important part of this creation.

God says:  I do not forget about you ever; you are always on my mind.  You will never have to be without me; I remember you and hold you as special always.  This love will never fail.  This love will never weaken.  This love will never go away.  It strengthens each day as we talk.  It becomes immutable as we seal our agreement with one another in our many conversations.  My love for you is so immense that you cannot understand it . . . yet still it is there . . . with you . . . always.

Wishing you the warmth and assurance of God’s ever-abiding love and peace.

Take a few minutes today to click a word on the tag cloud to the right and follow the link . . .


A re-post from June 20, 2012. 

Image from: https://mrayton.wordpress.com/tag/creation/

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2 Maccabees 1 and 2: The Ark Hidden During Captivity

Second Sunday of Easter, April 28, 2019

The Ark of the Covenant

Written on July 19, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

The HARPERCOLLINS COMMENTARY gives a wonderful exegesis of all four books of the Maccabees, but today we look at just these first 2 chapters of 2 Maccabees which the Douay Version refers to as the incident of the hidden temple fire or as “The Hidden Ark during the Captivity”.  All of this sets me to thinking about the wonder of our creation, about the mystery of our personal and collective evolution, and about how and when we go into captivity . . . how and when we return from exile.

We all experience captivity.  Some say that life here on earth is nothing more than that – an exile, a place of suffering and pain.  Optimists see life as a series of experiences, gifts, blessings and celebrations.  Still others see life as a combination of many opposites, dichotomies, bifurcations and amalgamations.  From any of these perspectives, when we look honestly and carefully, we see that each life has its own Captivity with its own Ark in which reposes the Fire of the Spirit.  This fire is the very breath of God at our creation, the mission for which we are destined, the karma for which we are to live, the potential gift God offers to the world as an act of love.  And when we are led away into captivity, all of this is held hidden for a time to be called forth at a precise moment.

Recently I have come to understand that Captivity is not all bad.  It can be a time of suffering and separateness, and it can also be a time of forced retreat, a time of letting go and giving over to God, a time of healing and restoration.  Taken this way, we understand that exile is a time to be hidden, to be held confined for a time away from something we have thought we desired, to be held safely just long enough that we reach the precise point in our pilgrimage where we see something clearly for the first time.  Captivity of the Spirit endures long enough for us to cease thrashing against the world and against ourselves.  It lasts to the precise tipping point at which we jettison all that has pained us . . . because there is nothing else to do.

And all the while that we have been apart and away, the spark of our creation has burned as brightly as ever even though it appears – as we read today in Maccabees – to be mud and water.  Nothing has diminished; rather, all has been clarified, magnified.  All that was captive and hidden now glorifies God more than before.  Imagine our surprise when we, like the Jews who rededicated their temple, lay the tinder to offer holocausts to our God and we realize that we have ignited the offering with the mud from the hidden place of our exile.  Suddenly we see our captivity as gift rather than punishment.

There is a need from time to time to go into exile, to find the place that is to remain unknown and to hide away in this secret place the tent and tabernacle, the altar of incense and fire, and the ark.  We are meant to block this place off and to seal it up so that the hidden spirit and temple fire might be rediscovered when God calls it forth.  And this tabernacle, with its sacred fire appearing as mud, is meant to be reopened and rededicated.

We have learned to fear captivity and the restriction it symbolizes.  How much better we will be when we come to see it as a quiet time in which the living fire of our soul learns to rekindle in God.  Like the people in today’s reading, once we begin to look for resurrection in loss, we will be amazed that the fire of our spirit comes forth from the mud and we will see as gift what we thought to be punishment.  We will marvel that God again resides in the Ark of our lives and we will finally come to understand . . . that he was never truly gone.


A re-post from Easter Week 2012.

Image from: http://www.mishkanministries.org/theark.php

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. Print.

Tomorrow we will reflect on Captivity Ended

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Proverbs 8: Armloads of Life

Friday, July 28, 2017

Wisdom and Creation, A Reprise

Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling?
    Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?
She’s taken her stand at First and Main,
    at the busiest intersection.
Right in the city square
    where the traffic is thickest, she shouts,
“You—I’m talking to all of you,
    everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
    You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,
    I’m telling you how to live at your best.

We have visited this chapter of Proverbs before, and today we look at it again with fresh eyes as we consider . . . the gift of creation in each of us, and in the micro and macro-universe we inhabit. Today we reprise our reflection on the wisdom of God’s creation (https://thenoontimes.com/2013/09/07/wisdom-and-creation/) as we consider again the mystery of God’s love for us.

 I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.

These words are an invitation we will want to accept.

My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary;
    the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.
You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk—
    at the intersection of Justice Avenue,
Handing out life to those who love me,
    filling their arms with life—armloads of life!

The verses cited in this post are from the MESSAGE translation of Proverbs. To compare other translations, use the scripture link and the drop-down menus.

To watch life on a reef off the Maldives, click on the sealife image or visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1oGyZL0qjM

For an interesting take on the multiverse, click on the image of planets above, or visit: http://www.chattanoogapulse.com/columns/just-a-theory/living-your-life-in-a-multiverse/ 

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Genesis 1: Re-Creation – The Earth

Easter Monday, April 17, 2017

God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.

Each time we plant flowers, weed vegetables, pick apples from a tree, we realize the bounty and goodness of God’s creation. Too often we are able to pretend that we do not offend Mother earth with our carelessness. In his encyclical, Laudato Sí or On Care of Our Common Home, Pope Francis makes a clear call to each of us to look to our interactions with our environment. In Chapter Two, The Gospel of Creation, Francis lays out a foundation of his premise, and then describes the mystery, the message, and the universal communion that is Mother Earth. We will be rewarded by new insights when we spend time with his words today.

God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.

Our modern world too often lives separately from Mother Earth. We do not see where our sewage goes; we do not see the landfills that pollute the earth that struggles to breath and thrive. We do not understand the demands our way of life make on the natural world. We are too easily lead into a life of separateness and alienation by the allure of technology and industry. Manufacture takes on more importance than the people who produce. Consumption becomes our focus. Relationships and connections languish.

God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.

On this Easter Monday, let us reflect on how we interact with Mother Earth, let us celebrate all she brings to us, and let us determine to care for her so that she may continue to love and nourish us all.

For a summary of Laudato Sí, visit: https://focusoncampus.org/content/summary-of-laudato-si-pope-francis-encyclical-on-the-environment-4b1db7f5-fca5-478c-bc8c-464174d9a07e 

To learn about Bolivia’s “Mother Earth Law,” the first on the planet, click on the images above, or visit: https://newearth.media/bolivia-passes-law-of-mother-earth/ 

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Matthew 6:30: Here Today

Wednesday, March 8, 2017creation-2

How broad is our view of creation? How wide is the horizon we assign to humanity?

It is God who clothes the wild grass – grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won’t God be all the more sure to clothe you? What little faith you have! (GNT)

Do we see our lives as more important than those of our ancestors? Do we see our descendants as equals?

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will God not much more clothe you – you of little faith? (NRSV)

Are we concerned about protecting and preserving the millions of species that run the risk of dying out? Are we willing to act on behalf of the flora and fauna God has gifted into our care?

If this is how God clothes grass in the field – which is here today and gone tomorrow, thrown in an oven – won’t God much more clothe you? What little trust you have! (CJB)

When we consider that we are here today and gone tomorrow, we will want to try – as difficult as this is – to see the broad arc of history as God sees it. We will want to explore the panoply of plants and animals as an expression of God’s delight in diversity.

solar-systemIf God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers – most of which are never even seen—don’t you think God will attend to you, take pride in you, do the best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way God works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how God works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (MSG)

As we reflect on being here today, we hope to change the economic, civil and social conditions that pollute our planet and choke our lives. And we will abide in faith with God our creator, who sees even the smallest among us as well as the grandest.

As we compare different translations of this verse, we consider that we are here today, and that this is enough because God loves each of us, no matter our size, no matter our importance.

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Romans 1:20: God’s Basic Reality

Wednesday, December 7, 2016gods-law-of-creation-the-origin-of-deviation

This week we explore how to put our love on the line just as the Creator does by abiding with us, just as Jesus does as he shows us The Way, and just as the Spirit does as she comforts and remains in us.

Ever since God created the world, his invisible qualities, both his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen; they are perceived in the things that God has made. So those people have no excuse at all! (GNT)

Some of us may believe that putting love on the line is not fully possible; but Paul tells the Romans – and he tells us – that with God all things are possible. We have only to look around us at the mystery and beauty of God’s creation.

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! (MSG)

Some of us may believe that putting love on the line is foolish; but Paul tells the Romans – and he tells us – that with God we experience nothing but love.

By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. (MSG)

Some of us may believe that putting love on the line brings to fullness the eternal promise of peace and joy. Paul tells the Romans – and he tells us – that this is a promise worth trusting.

When we explore various translations of these verses, we discover God’s basic reality, and the fullness of his promise.

 

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Deuteronomy 10:14-18: Look Around

Monday, November 28, 2016in-the-beginning

Look around you: Everything you see is God’s – the heavens above and beyond, the Earth, and everything on it. But it was your ancestors who God fell in love with; he picked their children – that’s you! – out of all the other peoples. That’s where we are right now. So cut away the thick calluses from your heart and stop being so willfully hardheaded. God, your God, is the God of all gods, he’s the Master of all masters, a God immense and powerful and awesome. He doesn’t play favorites, takes no bribes, makes sure orphans and widows are treated fairly, takes loving care of foreigners by seeing that they get food and clothing. (MSG)

The Book of Deuteronomy served the Hebrew people in knowing the love of the Living God. As Book of the Torah, it contained the Law that Jesus lived by as Jewish man; and it also was the springboard for the initiation of Jesus’ Law of Love. Today these verses still serve as guideposts to those who listen with open ears, minds and hearts. The expansive view taken by many in the mid-20th Century disquiets some and brings joy to others. Today we have the opportunity to look around, and to see how willing we are to love others as God does.

rom12-18-2We cannot truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way any man, created as he is in the image of God. Man’s relation to God the Father and his relation to men his brothers are so linked together that Scripture says: “He who does not love does not know God” (1 John 4:8). No foundation therefore remains for any theory or practice that leads to discrimination between man and man or people and people, so far as their human dignity and the rights flowing from it are concerned. The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion. On the contrary, following in the footsteps of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, this sacred synod ardently implores the Christian faithful to “maintain good fellowship among the nations” (1 Peter 2:12), and, if possible, to live for their part in peace with all men, (Romans 12:18) so that they may truly be sons of the Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:45)

Paragraph 5 of the encyclical Nostra Aetate: Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, proclaimed by Pope Paul VI on October 28, 1965) For the full document, visit: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html

When we compare varying versions of these ancient verses, we begin to understand creation in a new way.

 

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Sirach 33:7-15: Differences

Sunday, August 21, 2016Birds

If we ever wonder about the diversity of God’s creation, we might look at this chapter of Sirach.

Why is one day more important than another, when all the daylight in the year is from the sun?

When we believe that some of us are better than others of us, we might remember these words.

By the Lord’s wisdom they were distinguished, and he appointed the different seasons and festivals. Some days God exalted and hallowed, and some God made ordinary days.

meadow2When we use our ears and eyes, we understand God’s desire for variety.

All human beings come from the ground, and humankind was created out of the dust. In the fullness of his knowledge the Lord distinguished them and appointed their different ways.

When we open our hearts and minds, we see God’s great gift of diversity.

Like clay in the hand of the potter, to be molded as God pleases, so all are in the hand of their Maker, to be given whatever God decides.

When we observe humankind and nature honestly, we discover God’s marvelous inclusivity of many formed into one.

crowdLook at all the works of the Most High; they come in pairs, one the opposite of the other.

When we enter into the mystery of God’s creation, we witness to the marvelous differences found in God’s love.

When we compare differing translations of these verses, we open ourselves to the wisdom of God’s marvelous differences.

Click on the image of the birds above to learn more about the importance of diversity in nature

Click on the crowd image to learn about the broad diversity found in the Mexican genome

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