Monday, January 11, 2010

Our History

Monday, January 11, 2010 -- Week of 1 Epiphany, Year Two

Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 943)
Psalms 1, 2, 3 (morning) 4, 7 (evening
Genesis 2:4-9(10-15)16-25
Hebrews 1:1-14
John 1:1-18

In a sense, today we experience the entire scope of salvation history.

We begin with one of our ancient stories of creation. From a dry desert, God causes water to to rise up from the earth. Like a potter forming clay, from the earth (adamah in Hebrew) God formed an earthling (adam in Hebrew). (The word play humus/human also works well.) God proceeds to plant a garden as a place for human work. God forms all of the animals, with the intention that the human might have "a helper as a partner." God lets the man name each of the animals, but none is a satisfactory partner. So from the man's own flesh, God makes woman (Hebrew: man= ish; woman=ishshah). They live together in innocence.

Fast forward to Hebrews and the gospel of John. We read of Jesus. Hebrews calls him the Son, "the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word." John echoes the other Hebrew creation myth, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

So we have the picture of God's intimate, loving creation of humanity, providing for us everything necessarily for our abundant life. We are placed in an intimate relationship with the garden, which God created from the earth just as God created the human. We are placed in an intimate relationship with the animals, which God created as helpers, the same word used often to describe God's relationship with us in time of need, the same word given later for God's Holy Spirit. We are placed in an intimate relationship as humans, bone of bones, flesh of flesh, naked and innocent.

We know that this idyllic scene does not hold, and that things turn ugly for humanity. Yet with the coming of Jesus we see a renewal of the original intimacy. God is with us. God becomes our bone of bones, flesh of flesh, naked and innocent. The Gospel of John will continue to explore this coming of the Word made flesh, and show through Jesus the reincorporation of humanity into divinity.

John will insist on the unity between Father and Son. The loving intimacy between Jesus and God actualizes God's original intention for loving intimacy between adam/Adam and God. Then, Jesus invites everyone within this relationship of loving intimacy. Jesus creates union between himself and his friends while simultaneously sustaining his union with God, thereby bringing everyone into union with divine life.

The brokenness is restored. Once again humanity and God are united in a relationship of loving intimacy. It is this relationship of trust and faithfulness that we are invited to embrace as our own reality. God fashions and breathes us into being. God provides all things necessary for us. We are to live as mutual helpers with the animal world and all other human beings. We abide in Christ and he in us, one with God. Paradise restored.

Lowell
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Audio podcast: Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week. Click the following link: Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
Morning Reflections is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.


Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117

An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html


The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

Visit our web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life
We aspire to...
worship weekly
pray daily
learn constantly
serve joyfully
live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas

2 Comments:

At 9:36 AM, Anonymous janetlgraige said...

Lowell,

Yes, what readings this morning!

I do believe that we can (and do) live redeemed lives - we live into that 'grace upon grace' and grow into those baptismal vows that we re-stated yesterday - with God's help. It can become a very beauty filled life. The darkness does not overcome the light.

Peace and light, Janet

 
At 7:59 AM, Blogger Lowell said...

Peace and light, indeed, Janet.

I too believe that we can live in that awareness of "grace upon grace" -- with God's help.

Lowell

 

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