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Posts Tagged ‘creation’

2nd Commandment as Praise

June 29, 2009 Leave a comment

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Deut 5:8-10)

We sing your praise most glorious Lord and Creator of all things in heaven above, on earth beneath and in the water beneath the earth. By your great and gracious word, you’ve taught us that all things were created in and through the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ. We rejoice Father that you created all things in and through Your Son Jesus by the power of your Spirit.

And even as we are in awe of the wonders of this world, we know and reaffirm that all things that exists exist because they were created in and through Jesus. So in and through all things do we lift up holy praise to the Lord Jesus Christ who chose to enter into His Creation, and fully reveal the Father. And we realize that no image in creation can be worship and glorified outside of you. For you alone are worthy all praise and honor and glory and wisdom.

Jesus, the true image, the express image, the icon of God. For in Jesus, we behold the Father by the Spirit. And we are changed. The glory of the Son changes us into His Image that we might become the image of God for which we were created.

We rejoice in this world of splendor. We rejoice in the stars and sun and moon. We rejoice in the lush world of plants and trees and rocks and hills. We rejoice in the birds in the air, the squirrels and rabbits and every living thing. We stand in awe of the majesty of the soaring eagle and the boundless energy of the newborn puppy. We rejoice in the streams and rivers and ocean. In the fish of the deep sea and the myriad of other living things that teem beneath the surface.

You created us with five senses to experience and enjoy the heavens above, the earth below and the sea beneath the earth. We rejoice in the soft scent of mountain laurel and in the drunken winds that carry the aroma of honeysuckle. We delight in the pungent taste fresh tomatoes, the fiery flavor of salsa and the sweet intoxication of chocolate cake.

Thank for the gift of music that washes over our ears with joyous melodies and the bittersweet songs of love and life. To behold the brilliant colors of flowers and fish and birds, fills us with joy and awe. And gazing upon the streams of gold and pink and blue and yellow in the setting sun bring rapturous delight.

We are grateful for soothing feel of warm water and the cool breeze across our skin. What a gift is the embrace of friends and lovers and the healing touch of one person to another.

Thank you Lord for this world of physical experiences, this world of beauty, this world of breathtaking sights and heart-shaking sounds.

In all these wonders, glory: the glory of the Lord shining out from the vast and bountiful world. Everywhere we turn, we are overawed by you Oh Lord and the glory of Your creation.

And the greatest glory of this earth is the man and woman created to bear and reveal your image and glory. In every relation Lord, we rejoice in you.

In watching the father instructing his children or the mother caring for their needs, we rejoice in your constant and unfailing care. We rejoice in Your Spirit that teaches and guides us in the way of truth. In beholding the loving bond of brothers and sisters, we rejoice in you Lord Jesus who is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.

In the love of a man and a women, we rejoice Lord Jesus in your love for your people and by Your Spirit, raising us up together with you and the Father in a communion of love. You have loved and have loved and have loved your people. And you great and wondrous love extends from to generation to generation to generation. We rest in your faithful love, and we rejoice in this world of wonder you’ve given us as home.

Walking in Two Worlds

April 11, 2008 Leave a comment

We live in at least two worlds or two types of world. We are born into the first and primary world. We didn’t create it. Some people think it just appeared somehow. I believe in the Creator of this world as revealed in the Bible.

The First World
God creates the first world in and through His Word. This world is not God and yet symbolic power is rooted in this world He created by His Word. Thus the prophet can proclaim, “The whole earth is filled with the glory of God.” This world of mountains and valleys and trees and oceans and all manner of creatures and human beings express the glory of God. Not because it (or we as humans) consciously choose to but because His Word created it.

While we could think about Word on many levels, I want to focus here on the aspect of word of symbolic power. Words are primary symbols. They express meaning. Words take forms that express meaning. God speaks the world into being. The whole world conveys meaning (whether we are blind to it or not). In our sin, we may misunderstand the meaning or even worship the world that express the symbol, but our failure does not diminish the riches of meaning, of glory, of wonder expressed by the world of soil, grass, trees, mountains and more. The Bible interprets the meaning of this created world (see Jim Jordan’s “Through New Eyes” for a wonderful introduction).

The fullness of God’s Word is expressed/imaged in Jesus Christ. (More on this later.)

The Second World
Human are created in the image of God. Humans are rational and emotional communicators. We relate. We express meaning. We create symbols. So we create a second world through our words. Our words carry symbolic power. Our words take forms that express meaning.

I can tell a story about an evil empire and the band of noble rebels who resist the evil forces and end up rescuing the enslaved people. These words take form in the imagination. They might also take form in a song. Then someone may write down the words in a book. Another person might act out the words on stage with a group of actors. These words might even take shape in the houses and communities we build.

Our words take form in poetry, song, story, paintings, communities, buildings, dreams and more. Our words create a world that conveys meaning. Every day we create through our words. If our hearts are evil we create worlds that mock God, oppress people and damage the first world.

The 10 Words (10 Commandments) form the building blocks for creating worlds of wonder. Through the 10 Words, we create songs, proverbs, stories, homes, and communities. These words burst out in drawings, paintings, architecture, sculpture, music and dance that all sing out to the glory of God.

The worlds that we create are imperfect (incomplete). They do not reflect the fullness of God’s glory or wonder. They may reveal partial aspects His glory but the not whole. Thus God cannot be limited or contained by our worlds. And we cannot be limited or contained by our worlds. History reveals humans breaking out of one world and into another.

The child leaves one symbolic world and enters into the fuller world of adulthood. As we grow and develop, so does our ability to create worlds. But at the same time, as we fall under the deception of sin or allow the root of bitterness to grow, we create like worlds. Some of us create worlds of darkness, hopelessness, victimhood, and we need to be delivered from the horrible world that we’ve created and brought into the light of God’s good creation.

Sabbath and Adultery

March 31, 2008 Leave a comment

I think the 10 Commandments reveal God’s wisdom for living in the land. Jesus fulfills the 10 words and then through the cross makes a way for the 10 words to be written in our hearts by the grace of the Holy Spirit. I am thinking that we can look through these commands and begin to see God’s wisdom at work on multiple levels. For example, We can look through two commands at once to find interesting implications about how the blessed life looks.

We are commanded to take Sabbath, 6 days of work, 1 day of rest and remembrance. Rest is rooted in the 6 day creation and 7th day of rest (enjoyment). Remembrance is the discipline to remember God’s provision for delivering His people from Egypt (slavery through wilderness to Promised Land). So we have two rhythms: 6 days of work, 1 day of celebration; and Egypt-Wilderness-Promised Land (or Death-Burial-Resurrection).

Now think of Sabbath in relation to the command, “Do not commit adultery.” This is the blessing of covenantal relationship. The slave mindset moves from relation to relation without the capacity to enter into permanent relationship. The free man can enter into covenant with another free woman for covenantal love.

Sabbath can shine light on fulfilling the covenant. 6 days to create and then celebrate. God creates and then enjoys the creation. In particular, He creates a world for His special love: Adam (and Eve) created in the image of God. So he works for 6 days to prepare the relationship and then takes a 7th day to celebrate.

We work to form and maintain the relationship, but we also must pause regularly to rest/enjoy/celebrate the gift of relation. This might be a meal, a day, a weekend. Time set aside to rest and enjoy. But also to remember. Sometimes the relationship goes through testing (wilderness). During the wilderness, we rest and remember the gift of covenant.

This rhythm of work and rest/remember is in contrast with adultery, which is work with no rest. It goes from one romance (working to create) to another romance (working to create) to another romance. Some people confuse romance for enjoyment, but romance is actually a precursor, a developmental stage for the long-term enjoyment (sabbath) of covenantal relationship. Those who move from romance to romance to romance will never know the fruit of covenantal love that blossoms after years of slow growth.

Meditation on the Law

March 28, 2008 Leave a comment

I preparing for a retreat on the Law (and the Ten Commandments in particular). I am looking at law through a variety of lenses. While many of these overlap, there are nuances worth exploring that makes it helpful to create distinctions. Here are the lenses I am thinking of right now. If anyone has other lenses that might helpful to consider, I’d love to hear them:

  • Law Expression of Love
  • Law as Creative Power (Creation of Adam/creation song)
  • Law as Restorative Power (redemption song)
  • Law as Covenantal Gift
  • Law as Glory of the Lord (intimate)
  • Law as Charge to Enter into Promised Land (Deuteronomy parallel with Hebrews)
  • Law as the Root of the Fear of God
  • Law as the Seed (Growing up into Psalms, Wisdom, Kingdom Rule)
  • Law written in Stone/Law written in Flesh
  • Law fulfilled in Jesus (entirety of Word enfleshed in Jesus)
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