April 20, 2009

Creation Born Again

As we leave the Easter Octave behind, Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus comes around in the daily lectionary, and we are reminded of the necessity of being born again, born from above if we want to see the Kingdom of God.

It's too bad that the idea of being "born again" has been co-opted so heavily by a certain kind of individualistic piety, as if the rebirth we are granted in Christ is a matter of mere religious conversion. This is certainly part of it, but Christ died and rose so that the whole of creation might be reborn, not just me.

Sometimes I think we don't spend enough time reminding ourselves of the direct connection between the creation and the incarnation. When I talk to kids or even adults about creation, they almost always know that God created the heavens and the earth. But they are often stumped when I ask them how God creates, what particular technique God used. Though it's explicit and obvious in the first creation account in Genesis, it's easily missed that God creates through his speech. "God said," "and so it happened."

St. John says as much in the prologue to his gospel, how the world was created through the Word. As Christians we believe that Jesus Christ is that same Word made flesh. The same Word which, when spoken, makes the creation happen is made human in Christ. So God's act of creating the world and the Incarnation of the Word are very closely correlated. I would even dare to say that the world is created so that the Word might become incarnate in it, so that the Word made flesh might die and rise within it in order to communicate to the creation the creative power of the Word.

The Resurrection, then, a recapitulation of the first day of creation when God separated the light from the darkness. This is also part of the reason why we celebrate the Easter season as a "week of weeks." During the whole of the first week we pray in "on this Easter day" in the preface to the Eucharistic Prayer, because the Easter Octave is the "Sunday" in the seven weeks of the season. The Easter season imitates and commemorates both the creation through the Word and the re-creation through the Word made flesh, and reminds us that we are on pilgrimage to a destiny in which these are the same thing.

The gift of rebirth in the Resurrection is for the whole of creation. For God insists on saving the world and pours out upon it the very force of creation itself in the dying and rising of Christ.

1 comment:

ABBEY said...

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