Light and Love are Winning

There is beauty everywhere. 

The whole earth is full of [God’s] glory. (Isaiah 6:3)

The Gilmore Homes Housing Project where 25-year-old Freddie Gray was arrested and subsequently killed by bouncing around in a police van, is in one of the most blighted areas of my home town, Baltimore. A friend of mine recently visited that area and noted that, in spite of the obvious blight, beauty abounds. Grassroots organizations are doing all sorts of things to advance peace and justice. Murals and graffiti art bring color. Music plays. Churches are serving, feeding, guiding, advocating, coming along side. Kingdom of God people are pushing back the darkness.

Genesis opens with darkness everywhere – chaos, waters, an empty void. The Spirit of God hovers like a tern, wings of energy – light, life, beauty.

Ancient Neareastern creation myths imagined gods who created people to be their slaves. People built them houses called temples and fed them with animal sacrifices. The gods were appeased with human sacrifices. In return, the gods sent rain for the crops and aid in defeating enemies. An image of the god was placed in the temple and the chief priest breathed into it; the image then contained the spirit of the god. Ziggurats were built nearby – steps so the god could get down to her house. 

Genesis is a creation story flipped upside down. God builds God’s own temple – creation, the natural universe. God places God’s own image in the temple – humans. God breathes into them and they become vessels holding the divine spirit. People are created to love and be loved, not to be slaves. Their task is to care for creation and spread its beauty beyond the garden. Their vocation is to love in four directions – God, others, themselves, and the natural world.

They fail and chaos rushes in – plagues, wars, killing, hatred, violence, injustice, prejudice, and poverty. 

God begins the Great Divine Rescue Project. A man named Abraham is chosen; a nation called Israel is raised up; a Messiah named Jesus inaugurates the kingdom of God on earth. Messiah defeats death by dying, and evil by loving. The good news is proclaimed and a multiethnic, multicultural global family of kingdom people acting like Jesus brings divine love and beauty to the world.

The Kingdom of God is here now. 

The Kingdom of God is not yet. 

“Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.”

One day, heaven and earth will merge.

The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)

Ah, but the waters are the seas! The oceans fill the hollows of the planet. Creation is the vessel that holds the divine presence. The universe is the chalice. The Holy Spirit is the wine. Empty, the chalice is beautiful. Full, it is even more beautiful.

Every human being, no matter how worn, dented, chipped, wounded, or scarred, is beautiful. All are the imago Dei. Every single one is valuable, precious, sacred. When filled with holy spirit, they become even more beautiful – loving even their enemies, rejecting the myth of redemptive violence, serving, washing feet, bringing justice, healing, health, and wholeness.

He (Jesus) who descended (came to earth as God incarnate) is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe. (Ephesians 4:10)

The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord. (Psalm 33:5)

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist Jesus Freak Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, husband, father, grandfather

Posted on January 23, 2022, in anabaptist, Christianity, creation, Jesus, Justice, Kingdom Life, kingdom of God, Peace Shalom Hesed, social justice, Spirituality, The Cross. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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