Giving Birth to God
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
From the beginning until now, the entire creation as we know it has been groaning in one great act of giving birth. —Romans 8:22
Creation did not happen once by a flick of the Divine hand, and now it’s slowly winding down—which is what we’ve assumed for most of history. Creation, in fact, is a process that is still happening and winding up, and even better, we’re in on it! We are a part of this endless creativity of God. Talk about inclusion and how everything belongs! In other words, YOU matter and YOU make a difference!
The reason this is so hard for us to see in our little, tiny moments of history, is that this groaning and this giving birth proceeds by a process of losses and gains, and the losses are very real. There is no doubt that history, like the biblical text itself, goes three steps forward and two steps back. (Why do so many people prefer the two steps backward passages?) Thank God, there always seems to be a net gain to history and to the biblical text too. Even though we see violence, war, genocide, and stupidity, and we see religions and factions circling the wagons around their own tiny identities, yet always it happens that something like Vatican II, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, or Pope Francis comes out of seeming nowhere! Where does this high level, enlightened thinking come from?
It seems history moves forward, and then we say, “No, no, no! This is too much freedom; it’s too scary.” So we pull back into denial and resistance (Joshua and Judges after Exodus, Napoleon after the French Revolution, Tridentine Masses after Vatican II). But the movement of history cannot be stopped. There is always a leaven that remains, a critical mass, a few people who get it, and the toothpaste is out of the tube forever. Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, you can’t put it back in. You can’t tell people they don’t know once they know the Bigger Truth. So history proceeds, nevertheless, and the Second Coming of Christ is this ever new level of Christ-people that keeps emerging despite continual regression into “passion and death,” exactly as revealed in the body of Jesus. I cannot wait to ask God why this seems to be the divine and chosen pattern of all true development and growth.
One of the greatest Jesuits of the last century was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and one of his most memorable lines is “Everything that rises will converge.” Everything is moving toward unity. There is temporary differentiation and complexity, but that increased complexity ironically, paradoxically moves to another unity on a higher level. But in between is the necessary conflict! If it isn’t moving toward unity, always at the price of some kind of suffering, it is not a higher level of consciousness.
Gateway to Silence:
Bring creation to fullness.
Adapted from Christ, Cosmology, and Consciousness (MP3 download)