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Center for Action and Contemplation

Returning to Love

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

In Our End Is Our Beginning

Returning to Love
Tuesday, December 30, 2014

T. S. Eliot writes, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time” (Little Gidding, Part V, “Four Quartets”). We return where we began, to the eternal embrace of Divine Love. We were formed by original blessing, but we’ve heard so often the story of “original sin” that we have to be reminded of our beginnings in beauty and union.

Rob Bell shared at CAC’s CONSPIRE event this year how the Christian Creation narrative is uniquely hopeful. The creation poem in Genesis 1 is a “confrontive story,” portraying something radically different than the common creation stories of its time; rather than “violence and destruction,” the Genesis mythos shows “overflowing joy and creativity.” Knowing we began as an expression of God’s desire for relationship allows us to trust that life is headed somewhere good, into new forms of Love making itself known, oneing all things in a whole and expanding universe. As one Pauline translation puts it “The whole of creation is standing on tip toe to see the full revelation of the children of God” (Romans 8:19).

The story ends where it begins: in life and now even in “life more abundantly” (John 10:10). This Life came from “nowhere” (creatio ex nihilo) and now has my name upon it. From death—the small dyings to the False Self and our eventual physical death—comes resurrection into our True Self, who we have been all along but have simply forgotten. As you look back on a year almost ended and forward to a year about to begin, recall the ways in which God has been inviting you to return, again and again, to Love, which is the same as returning to God.

Gateway to Silence:
God, keep me in your truth.

Image Credit: Ensō (円相) – Zen/Japanese calligraphy wallpaper (detail)
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