Continuing our series unpacking the Discourse snapshot of my current theological understanding, here is the second post, God creates. To help remind you of the series or to give you some background if this is the first time you have read my blog in awhile, here is the introduction and the first piece, “God is.”
God creates all with value.
God created everything good, but not perfect.
God is all-powerful and present in all of creation, but God limits God’s self for the sake of creation and to have a deeper relationship with it. As part of this, humans are given a sense of responsibility to name, work with, and care for all of creation as co-creators.
God’s creative activity in the world is ongoing and can be seen in ways including: birth, life, and death; weather and erosion; growth, change, and evolution; new ideas, discoveries and inventions; through relationships being formed and redeemed; through restoration and redemption in the world; and through the calling of the Spirit.
That was what I articulated as part of the Discourse course. Now, to reflect on this a bit further like I did in my previous post. I love the idea of co-creation. The first time I ever had really thought about this was in a Pentateuch class taught by the great Rev. Dr. Terence Fretheim. He is easily one of my favorite professors of any fashion of all time. He continues to learn, think, research, even in his upper years. He is down to earth, positive, and always capable of leading his students to question, imagine, and wonder. Back to the idea of co-creation though, it is a concept which though present in current theological thought, its not limited to that sphere.
I have noticed it more and more in new missional church thought, but even outside of the church world it is showing up in larger discussions about the commons such as in the work of Elinor Ostrom and Otto Scharmer among others. I have also noticed these themes more and more in how there are places in the world and at cross-sectional places especially, where there is more recognition about how different entities and people are not only co-inhabitants, but co-creators in the world. I think this only enhances the sense for me then of how God’s creative activity is on-going and continues in the world today. What do you think?
On a different and more personal note related to God creates, I was born over a month early, nearly six weeks early to be exact. Because of this, I spent a good month in the hospital after being born before being cleared to go home. A number of doctors early on tried to warn my parents that I would probably develop a little bit slowly, and that school, learning, and life would be difficult. In spite of such prognostication, here I am today. God took a very small baby who never really crawled and created and continues to create who I am. I sure have to believe and trust that God is working through me and will work through me. I believe this is probably true for just about everyone else in their own way too.
As I began in the last post, let me share a couple hymns that speak to me about ideas of “God creates.” First of all, in terms of the vastness and beauty of God’s creation its hard not to hear the lyrics of “This is My Father’s World” by Maltbie D. Babcock and the tune from Franklin L. Sheppard. The other song that comes to mind is one that many a Lutheran college and university choral member, such as myself has sung, the F. Melius Christiansen arrangement of “Beautiful Savior.” Both to me speak to the beauty of God’s creation, and I believe in their own ways to our relationship with it and our relationship and community with God and God’s people.
What speaks to you in this post? What questions has this created for you? The next post in the series will be “God reveals.” I hope you have enjoyed these reflections and look forward to your thoughts, questions, and our continuing conversation and journey together in unpacking my own current thoughts.