Sunday, March 27, 2011

Genesis 2 and 3 - Where are You?

Genesis 2-3 Selected verses - Where are you?

Turn to someone sitting near by you and ask:
Where is God? Answers?

How many times in this past week did you wonder: Where is God? What were the circumstances? Of course, this question presumes that God exists. That there is something behind and within all that is.  It bears some inkling that God is out there somewhere; from beyond ourselves we have been given our life and meaning. But when circumstances in life lead us to wonder: what is our purpose? What are we here for? We may wonder: Where is God?

And when there is no confirmation or satisfactory answer to this question: Where is God? It may be easy to take a second step, which is to dismiss the notion of God's existence all together. "Where is God" becomes "There is no God," or maybe less overtly, "we all alone spinning around on this third rock from the sun."  And once that notion becomes our most prevalent thought...
Oh, it’s on.  Let the rat race begin.

Throughout human history, once humans had any kind of language--”that vast symbol system in which sounds in the air stand in for actions, feelings, relationships and instruction” (L. Rasmussen) Whooo, you should have heard Trasie’s sounds fill the air yesterday when Ruby Gene took off running out of the yard and into the street!  Once humans had language with which to express themselves, this combined with human developing a capacity to think beyond the present moment--You may say I’m a dreamer...but I’m not the only one. An ability to detach from our present reality it “in order to envision and create other worlds, or imagine different pasts and altered futures, with different ways to achieve them.” (L. Rasmussen) 

Monday, March 14, 2011

For the Love of Creation for the Love of God- Genesis 1

Westminster Presbyterian Church, Santa Fe
What better way to begin a story, than with the story of Creation; full of intrigue and majesty, Genesis Chapter one has not been without scrutiny and controversy.  By no choice of its own, it is been brought in to do battle against disciples of Charles Darwin?  It has caused many to wonder, “Did God’ create the world in a literal seven days, or can we explain it away by saying a day is like a thousand days to God.”
I once had an intelligent Christian pastor suggest that God put dinosaur bones in the earth at creation, that’s why we dig them up. Not because they actually existed billions of years ago.  We have vivid imaginations.
Let us use our imaginations, and rather than reduce this Creation story to popular spheres of debate, instead open our hearts to new ways of understanding it within its original context as well as our world today.  
Throughout time, every civilization that’s ever existed has had a story of how it all began. We’ve always wanted to know, where did we come from?  Why are we here? So, what does our Ancient Sacred story tell us about who we are and who God is?
Readers you may take your places. (Readers space themselves in 7 designated places in the sanctuary to represent the seven days as space in the temple.
Enter into God’s cosmic temple.  (The following is from William P. Brown’s, The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder)
In seven days God created.  Structurally, these seven days take on a certain symmetry
Day 1 - light;   Day 4 - Lights
Day 2 - Sky and waters; Day 5 - birds and marine life
Day 3- Land vegetation; Day 6 - land animals, humans, food.
And Day seven, The day God declares creation holy.  the day God rests.  

As creation unfolds daily, it becomes constructed in the very model of the ancient Hebrew temple.  The first six days establish the architectural boundaries of sacred space. The last day inhabits, as it were the most holy space- God rests in the holy of holies in the temple.  a portico, a nave, and a the place of the holy of holies. “What took Solomn seven years to complete, God took only seven days, and on a cosmic scale!”  
Seven. God "saw" and pronounced creation "good" seven times;
"earth" or "land" the same word in Hebrew appears 21 times (7x3) "God" is repeated 35 times.
Verse 1 has seven words in Hebrew. Verse 2 - 14. The total number of words from genesis 1:1-2:3 is 469 in Hebrew. 7x67. How many times are we to forgive. 7x 70. times.  the perfectly odd integer. Seven connotes a ritual sense of completion or fulfillment.
The readers will alternate days in Spanish and then English.  You may follow along in your pew bibles on page 1.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What would Jesus cut?

When it comes to federal spending and collaborative work for a better country; our tax dollars are the fuel to the engine.  What is appropriate use of your tax money?  As the government considers how to be fiscally responsible, our values are at stake.

An interesting campaign has emerged from Christians that you can read more about here:  What would Jesus Cut?