An Architect's Eye
Genesis 6:13-22, John 5:10-16
O Holy One,
Faith is an awesome gift:
not that we believe in you,
but that you believe in us!
You have set within us the awesome power of creativity,
entrusting us to shape a holy future.
Within us is the renovating vision of Jesus.
enable to enlarge the room we call reality,
replacing walls with floor-to-ceiling windows,
installing skylights to see,
the view above our heads.
Respectfully, we remove the ancient symbols
from our sacred table
to spread out the kin-dom's blueprint,
knowing that Jesus is present,
with a shapened pencil
and an architect's eye
for symetmetry of the sacred.
With plans in place,
We take up the hammer
in the Spirit of Noah,
carpenter of a divine restoration,
and on the behalf of all creation,
we build on your belief in us.
( By Bruce Sanguin: If Darwin Prayed; Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics, pg 124; Season of Emergence )
Evolution, (from its literal meaning of "unfolding" of something into its true or explicit form) carries a connotation of gradual improvement or directionality from a beginning to an end point. Reality for me is composed of three dimensions...faith, science and life. It's interesting that much of my past christian life was lived essentially in one dimension...basically horizontally. It was God " up there ", and the hope and constant struggle of ensuring my final place of residence was " up there." It seemed the other two dimensions were always at odds with " up there." Science always seemed to be trying to prove that God didn't exist, and some how if we focused more on life " down here " we were taking our eyes of the finish line and would never get " up there."
But in this new kind of post-christian faith I find myself is very 3 Dimensional...I need to embrace all three in order to discover this fullness of life that Jesus talked about. This Kingdom, or as Bruce Sanguin eloquently puts it...a Kin-dom reality. You get a profound sense of paradox, mystery, and a profound sense of interconnectedness that ignites the imagination of what it is to be human.
From Genesis, the opening moments of creation, the Spirit brooding, hovering over this dark mirky soup of nothingness. This evolution of existence, of reality begins to unfold in all directions. In the opening words of the John's gospel;
The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God,in readiness for God from day one. Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him.What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by.The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out. ( Eugene Peterson's The Message )
And from Colossians...
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. ( Eugene Peterson's The Message )
There is a fabric holding existence together...something, or someone who has meticulously weaved it.
To me, these are key-hole moments where we catch glimpses of all 3 dimensions. Watch, the following video clip ( 3 minutes approx. ), undeniably it confronts faith, science and life...and it does it...mysteriously. There is a fabric to existence, something holding it " All " together...and the precision at which it does is mind boggling.
A post-christendom faith must be 3 dimensional, not so much to solidify " truth " like pouring concrete, but to better understand the " fullness of life ", our place in, and our future in it. In Jesus' " I am, the way, the truth and the life ", understood this mysterious fabric that holds "all" together. In embracing the reality of Jesus, his teachings, his life, his Kin-dom...we discover the eternity in now. The reality is how we live determines the stability of this fabric. Whether it tears, unravels or disintegrates depends on how we live.
I love the following musings by recent neighbor in Vancouver, Theo-poet, Jason Derr who writes about seeing the future in 3-D...
The future opens up but does end up there, though it does begin now. The sputnik moment is a moment of incarnation and intention. If we are honest then we can say the world is pregnant with sputnik moments. Information technology is making us rethink how we think and interact in the world, the environmental crisis is allowing us the space to rethink our technologies and resource management and the economic crisis is allowing us to rethink how we view wealth and capital in a world of dwindling resources. And that is just North America.
The Middle East and Africa are facing challenges of a generation-defining nature and the future that will emerge -- is yet to be defined. The call is upon all of us -- Prime Ministers and Presidents, citizens here and abroad -- to enter into the future not as spectators awaiting the end of things but as co-creators and participants who have an opportunity to take part in the start of things. The future is incarnate in the present. So, how will we answer the call? ( from theopoetic Jason Derr/ Seeing the Future in 3-D: Incarnation and the Sputnik Moment )
Horizontal only thinking would have us abandon hope in the " Now ", trading for an exit strategy and lottery for occupancy in the " Up There." But in the reality of " all " that is " In-Jesus " in the profound mystery of his Kin-dom...the interconnectedness of " all " creation...we learn how to navigate within this fabric. In a sense we can act as seamstresses, like the initial creator, weaver...that we can mend, and stretch this fabric of reality.
Brian McLaren in his book A New Kind of Christianity refers to this idea as a three dimensional universe, a universe with no predetermined ending, not like the made for Hollywood movie " Left Behind " ending in raptures and in a catastrophic display of fireworks. Brian defines this three dimensional matrix as a space of continual unfolding, a liberation that unshackles us from hopelessness. Brian asks us, that we think of creation ,the unfolding evolving creation -- as height, liberation as length and peaceable kin-dom as infinite width. The open, three dimensional universe is one in which existence bends towards justice...and in which justice mends, and bends the fabric of life in all directions.
We discover that when we live " Jesus-like " lives, filled with the Spirit, filled with the mysterious redemptive imagination of the creator, the weaver of the fabric of life...there will be moments in which the divine will ask us to particiate...to grab a needle, to weave and mend. The future does not have to be predestined. There doesn't have to be an expired, best before date...as particapants, co-creators we can bend, we can stretch time. The kin-dom, this profound mysterious interconnectedness is an ever expanding space of particapation where we " all " join together as one. Every day we have moments where we " all " can impact the future, the end does not have to be the end.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life...it is way outside the lines of mere belief...it is embracing the fullness of life and living in 3 dimensions.
My faith is in a constant state of emergence and evolution...a 3-dimensional Jesus found in science, faith..and life.