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Center for Action and Contemplation

Creation: Week 1 Summary

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Creation: Week 1

Summary: Sunday, February 11-Friday, February 16, 2018

In the Judeo-Christian story of Genesis 1, God—who is “Creator” in verse 1, “Spirit” in verse 2, and “Word” in verse 3 (foretastes of what we would eventually call Trinity)—creates from an overflowing abundance of love, joy, and creativity! (Sunday)

Good religion, art, poetry, and myth point us to the deeper levels of truth that logos (data and facts) can’t fully explain. (Monday)

The first act of divine revelation is creation itself. Thus, nature is the first Bible. (Tuesday)

God is One. God is whole, and everything else in creation can now be seen as a holon (a part that mimics, replicates, and somehow includes the whole). (Wednesday)

The Christ Mystery—the crucified and resurrected Christ—is the template for all creation. Christ reveals the necessary cycle of loss and renewal that keeps all things moving toward ever further life. (Thursday)

Not redemption from sin, but the unification of the world in itself and with God is the ultimate motivating cause for the Incarnation and, as such, the first idea of the Creator, existing in advance of all creation. —Hans Urs von Balthasar (Friday)


Practice: The Christ Hymn

I invite you to take all this heady information and experience it at the heart level through music, poetry, and art. Living School alumni Alana Levandoski and Julie Ann Stevens creatively rendered “The Christ Hymn” from Colossians 1:15-20 (Common English Bible):

The Son is the image of the invisible God,
the one who is first over all creation,
Because all things were created by him:
both in the heavens and on the earth,
the things that are visible and the things that are invisible.
Whether they are thrones or powers,
or rulers or authorities,
all things were created through him and for him.
He existed before all things,
and all things are held together in him.
He is the head of the body, the church,
who is the beginning,
the one who is firstborn from among the dead
so that he might occupy the first place in everything.
Because all the fullness of God was pleased to live in him,
and he reconciled all things to himself through him—
whether things on earth or in the heavens.
He brought peace through the blood of his cross.

May these words, images, and music draw us more deeply into the Mystery of Christ.

“The Christ Hymn,” from the album Behold, I Make All Things New, was composed by Alana Levandoski, Paintings by Julie Ann Stevens, Poetry contributions were written by Malcolm Guite, Scott Cairns, Joel McKerrow, and Luci Shaw.

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Franciscan Media: 2014)

Richard Rohr, Hierarchy of Truths: Jesus’ Use of Scripture (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2013), CDMP3 download

Richard Rohr and Rob Bell, In the Beginning. . . (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2014), CD, MP3 download

Image credit: Winter Leaf I: CAC Gardens (detail), by Nicholas Kramer.
God always and forever comes as one who is totally hidden and yet perfectly revealed in the same moment or event. The first act of divine revelation is creation itself. Thus, nature is the first Bible, written approximately 14 billion years before the Bible of words. —Richard Rohr
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