We are meditating on the revelation of the ground of being found in creation stories from various traditions.
Today, the Hebrew Bible again.
Yesterday we found that the first of humanity’s “thoughts” is not about writing books but about the uses of plants and roots. It is about food therefore and healing and beauty from the plant world.
Wisdom teaches, for she is the Artisan of all this art and beauty that we call creation and all the creations that humans undertake, all the beauty we also birth. “Wisdom is found in all creative works,” Hildegard of Bingen reminds us. And Beauty is an ample name for divinity.
Another picture of Creation emerges from Psalm 33.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their whole array by the breath of his mouth;
She collects the ocean waters as though in a wineskin
he stores the deeps in cellars.
Let the whole world fear Yahweh,
let all who live on the earth revere her!
He spoke, and it was created;
she commanded and there it stood.
Psalm 19 also sings of the wonder of Creation.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
the vault of heaven proclaims her handiwork;
day discourses of it to day,
night to night hands on the knowledge.
No utterance at all, no speech,
no sound that anyone can hear;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their message to the ends of the world.
High above, he pitched a tent for the sun,
who comes out of his pavilion like a bridegroom,
exulting like a hero to run his race.
Reading and hearing these psalms one feels a sense of wonder and praise.
Creation does that to the human heart. It deserves our meditating on it and our efforts to name and study it.
An ancient rabbinic teaching about Creation goes as follows:
Creation is the extension of God.
Creation is God encountered in time and space.
Creation is the infinite in the garb of the finite.
In the Book of Daniel, we read of three young men thrown into a fire by a violent king. When, with the help of an angel, they survive, they sang this song from within the flames.
All things the Lord has made, bless the Lord:
Heavens! bless the Lord:
Waters above the heavens! bless the Lord:
Sun and moon! bless the Lord:
Stars of heaven! bless the Lord:
Showers and dews! All bless the Lord:
Winds! bless the Lord:
Fire and heat! bless the Lord:
Frost and cold! bless the Lord:
Ice and snow! bless the Lord:
Nights and days! bless the Lord:
Mountains and hills! bless the Lord:
Sea beasts and everything that lives in water! bless the Lord:
Birds of heaven! all bless the Lord:
Animals wild and tame! all bless the Lord.
An ecological emergency requires that we return to praise the earth and all its goings on. “Ecology is functional cosmology” after all. Bless the Lord!
Adapted from Matthew Fox, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths, pp. 35-37.
Banner Image: “The Creation: Genesis – The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” Image by Maurits Verbiest on Flickr.
Do you see creation as an “extension of God” and “God encountered in time and space”? Can we build an ecological awakening on that insight? And put an end to denial of climate change?
One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths
Matthew Fox calls on all the world traditions for their wisdom and their inspiration in a work that is far more than a list of theological position papers but a new way to pray—to meditate in a global spiritual context on the wisdom all our traditions share. Fox chooses 18 themes that are foundational to any spirituality and demonstrates how all the world spiritual traditions offer wisdom about each.“Reading One River, Many Wells is like entering the rich silence of a masterfully directed retreat. As you read this text, you reflect, you pray, you embrace Divinity. Truly no words can fully express my respect and awe for this magnificent contribution to contemporary spirituality.” –Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit
Join Matthew Fox for a thought-provoking 7-week course: Answer the Call for an Uncommon Life Through the Mystical Teachings of St. Hildegard, Tuesdays, 6/15 to 7/27. While the course has begun, registration remains open, with recordings of past classes available. Learn more HERE.
Join Rabbi Rami Shapiro and Rev. Matthew Fox for a 1.5-day Virtual Teach-in on “Cosmic Wisdom and the Divine Feminine: Lost Insights for an Emerging World.” Friday, June 25, 4:00 PM to
Saturday, June 26, 2:30 PM Pacific (GMT/UTC-7). Enroll HERE.