Season of Creation: Cosmos Sunday 9-25-16

Proverbs 8:22-31 YHWH gave birth to me at the beginning, before the first acts of creation. I have been from everlasting, in the beginning, before the world began. Before the deep seas, I was brought forth, before there were fountains or springs of water; before the mountains erupted up into place, before the hills, I was born— before God created the earth or its fields, or even the first clods of dirt. I was there when the Almighty created the heavens, and set the horizon just above the ocean, set the clouds in the sky, and established the springs of the deep, gave the seas their boundaries and set their limits at the shoreline.  When the foundation of the earth was laid out, I was the skilled artisan standing next to the Almighty.  I was God’s delight day after day, rejoicing at being in God’s presence continually, and delighting in humankind.

On Cosmos Sunday, we treasure and celebrate the creative power of our Creator God and the first born of creation, Jesus Christ. We stretch our minds to imagine the breadth of the universe that God created, the intricacy of life that continues that creative process everywhere we look. It is a wondrous story, the story of the universe. Our readings from Proverbs and Colossians only hint at the entrancing wonder of this creative process, but they are amazing in their insight without even knowing what we know about the extent of the cosmos. Listen for the word of God from Colossians which adds to the beautiful creation story of Proverbs with an understanding that the Cosmic Christ was there at the very beginning. Notice the writers emphasis on all things, Christ’s connection to and over everything.

 Colossians 1:15-20 Christ is the image of the unseen God and the firstborn of all creation, for in Christ were created all things in heaven and on earth:  everything visible and invisible.  Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers—all things were created through Christ and for Christ. Before anything was created, Christ existed, and all things hold together in Christ. The church is the body; Christ is its head.  Christ is the Beginning, the firstborn from the dead, and so Christ is first in every way. God wanted all perfection to be found in Christ, and all things to be reconciled to God through Christ—everything in heaven and everything on earth—when Christ made peace by dying on the cross.

Sept 25, 2016

Season of Creation: Cosmos Sunday

Creativity is one of God’s best gifts.

I wrote a poem in my senior year of college. The poem was for a class I took called Dreams and Poetry. My poem was not a great gift to humanity. I had finished all my required courses, so I was allowed to sign up for elective courses, and I signed up for this high level English class, with a lot of creative people who had been honing their creative writing skills for years.

The assignment was to pay attention to our dreams, write them down and then use a dream to write a poem. I had a strange dream and I wrote a poem about it – with no capital letters, that was plenty dreamy and a little surreal, as I thought a dream poem should be. I remember that Eve Ensler was in the class. Eve Ensler is the most famous person I was ever in a class with. She went on to write and organize and be famous. The reason I remember she was in the class is that she told me my poem wasn’t so good.

I tell you this just to say that even though the poem wasn’t so good and I haven’t read it since 1975, I still remember that little bit of creativity that I mustered back then. It was fun. I used to think I wasn’t a very creative person. I used to say that the best instrument I played was the tape recorder.

The truth is that though most of us feel like we’re not that creative, we can probably all remember some point in our life where we exercised some creativity. Anyone who has been a parent has had to be creative in many different ways. Writing a satisfying letter or adding a decorative touch to a place setting or a cooked dish. We are creative in thousands of fun ways. and that’s something to celebrate, not to dismiss.

Creativity is one of God’s best gifts.

In our readings this morning we hear about God’s most prolific and awesome creative work – the creation of the universe, or we might say cosmos to indicate multiple universes, which is hard to imagine, but could certainly be true. Today, we celebrate the totality of that creative task as much as we can – the creation of galaxies and supernovas, of insects and DNA, of oceans, sequoias, hurricanes, & rainbows.

Our Proverbs reading is a beautiful passage imagining Wisdom being with God at the very beginning, before the deep seas, before the mountains, before the eruption of energy that we now call the Big Bang. The ancients personified Wisdom as Sophia, and said she was there as time is created, as space everything got its beginning. Wisdom/Sophia delighted especially in the creation of humankind.

The Colossians reading refers to the Proverbs reading, reimagining Wisdom as the Cosmic Christ. Christ was the firstborn of all creation, the writer tells the Colossians, Christ was first born from the dead, so when they align themselves with Christ, they are with the One who is over and before all other gods, all other pretenders. It might sound like the writer of Colossians is trying to say Christ existed before everything, but their real concern is to show that Christ is pre-eminent, over everything – to show people that if they are right with the Christ Jesus then they are right with cosmos.

Creativity is one of God’s best gifts. The Universe is created for delight – God’s delight and the praise of the whole creation. We all are right with God when we live in harmony with God’s creation, when we live in praise of God’s work, when we are part of God’s creative process.

Sometimes living in harmony with God’s creation takes a little extra effort on our part, we’re finding – we who want everything to be easy and comfortable. I have some good news for you today. Last Wednesday, in response to a year long campaign spearheaded by Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) and POWER, PECO announced the beginning of a plan to expand local solar jobs. POWER and EQAT have been pressuring PECO to put solar panels on top of houses of folks all through North Philadelphia to save money and to live in harmony with creation. PECO has not agreed to the whole plan yet, but they announced a first step and that’s good news.

Creativity is one of God’s best gifts. That’s why I want to remind you of your own creativity and our ability to be creative in the face of the hardest challenges of our lives. We can find ways creatively to live in harmony with God’s creation. God created the cosmos for delight – for God’s delight and for praise, for the whole of creation to live in harmony with creation. Whether we live out our creative connection with God in poetry or parenting, in drumming or dancing, crafting or cleaning or cooking. When we worship and live in right relation, we are right with Christ Jesus, the Cosmic Christ, we are right God the Creator, we are right with the Holy  creative Spirit. God empowers us and nudges us and calls us to that kind of creative life.

this is God’s good news. Thanks be to God.

 

Responsive hymn: 3034  God of Wonders