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Jesus Mosaic (based on a Byzantine icon, made up of more than 1,000 different images of Jesus)
from the film The God Who Wasn't There (2005)
Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
In the Beginning
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The First Incarnation, the materialization of the Mystery, began approximately 14.5 billion years ago with what we now call “The Big Bang.” Romans 8, which I believe is the most inspired of Paul’s chapters, states: “The whole of creation is eagerly awaiting the full revelation of its sonship” (Romans 8:19). So it’s not just humans who are sons and daughters of God. As Paul sees it, all of creation is “the Son of God,” or the Christ. When you think of it, what else could it be?
“From the beginning until now, the entire creation has been groaning in one great act of giving birth” (Romans 8:22). This is evolution itself. We humans do have the advantage of consciousness, but that doesn’t mean that everything else doesn’t also share in some rudimentary forms of consciousness. Maybe it’s merely a quantitative difference, but not a qualitative difference.
The little dog or cat is obviously a creature of God. We hope she somehow knows it. She’s fully resting in it right now, without any resistance to her identity or dignity. Humans alone doubt this. Our role is to consciously recognize and honor the full dignity and sacrality of all of creation, starting with ourselves. We humans have a wonderful role in praising everything, and praising God for everything. We are official praisers! Paul calls it “possessing the first fruits of the Spirit, as we too groan inwardly for our own bodies to be set free” (Romans 8:23). Note, “first fruits” which seems to clearly imply that we are not the one and only fruit!
What we see especially in Romans 8 is that matter is not evil, it is merely unliberated. And our job is to join in the liberation of all things toward their full dignity as children of God. We are thus “co-operators with God” (Romans 8:28), joining in the “repairing of the world,” or tikkun olam, as the Jewish people beautifully put it.
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