Wednesday Word: Creation
Creation is not so much an event that took place at the beginning as a process initiated then and completed by the age to come – Rowan A. Greer, quoted in “Blessed Are the Image-Bearers: Gregory of Nyssa and the Beatitudes,” Rebekah Eklund, The Anglican Theological Review, Fall 2017.
We are in the last week of Ordinary Time, the Season after Pentecost. This coming Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent, marking the beginning of a new year on the Church calendar. It also marks the beginning of the season of waiting, of hopeful expectation, of looking forward to the coming of Christ while looking back to his birth.
In Bethlehem, God participated in the miracle of birth. This incarnational event was the result of God's active participation in the very human event of creating a new life.
As we look back to both the beginning and back to the first coming of Jesus we can see the hand of God at work. “In the beginning, God said, 'Let there be light.' And there was.” In the beginning there was a child born to a homeless couple in the shelter of an animal stall. Yet neither of these events were the last word of creation.
As Paul wrote in Romans, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now.” All of creation is moving toward its fulfillment on the last day. In Advent, we wait expectantly and hopefully for that last day, while also participating in the ongoing movement of creation.
How would our perspective on creation – both the creation of the physical world around us and ourselves as created beings – change if we saw creation not as a one-and-done event, but as an ongoing process that leads to the ultimate fulfillment of God's purpose on the last day? How would our perspective on creation change if we saw ourselves as active participants in God's creation rather than as consumers using what God had already produced?
This Advent, may you see the world around you in a new way. This Advent, may you see the world around you as the unfinished story of creation that you are helping to write.