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Inspirational Story

Peace Lutheran Church: Writing by Kristin Peura

"Laughing in Creation"
from Finishing Touches
Kristin Peura

Is all that we create, even the most moving of music, works of art or acts of love, merely our taking God's gifts of creation and rearranging them in a form which the human ear or eye or heart recognizes?

We human beings can construct nearly anything, it seems. From tall skyscrapers winking at the heavens to electronic digital microscopes which help to unveil the smallest particles we can conjecture, from telescopes which may one day peer into the farthest cavities of space to beautiful music which expresses the heart and soul of the composer, and from moving works of art to artfully landscaped gardens and mazes and topiary, we have been given great abilities to rearrange that which God originally created, using it either to the benefit or detriment of mankind as we struggle privately to determine whether we acknowledge or shun the omnipotence of the Creator. But can we create a baby’s smile? Can we grow a tree without a seed? Are we able to create music without notes, tone or tempo or without the pulse of life that beats within our center? Can we fashion a puppy for our children out of nothing but the desire to give them something to love? Have we any power, any of us, within ourselves to create, or are we simply vessels of God’s creation, borrowing and rearranging the gifts he has given us?

Once, there was nothing - a void. And then there was something - a separation of darkness and light. And into the darkness and into the light which he had uttered into being, the Creator began to laugh and speak and to make for himself, that which was good and pleased him.

Gracious God, did you splash words of purplish gold, ocher and lavender hues against the void to fashion the sunrise in the splendor of that first day? Or did you give light a beginning by gathering into your pallet, every hue and tint and color that you could imagine to paint the sun, the moon, the stars and all of your creation into existence on the darkness you had made? How did you think to breathe the sweet scent of the thorny rose bush and eucalyptus grove into being? Was it to please your nose? And while stretching out the necks of flamingos and giraffes and molding the corpulent body of the hippopotamus in your hands, did you laugh with exuberance in the absurdity of your creation? Perhaps the gossamer wings of the dragonfly came out of the same preposterousness that tells us today that a bumblebee cannot fly - its body is simply too heavy for its wing structure! Yet, fly they do, and thank God they do, for the plan you devised for cross pollination allows life to perpetuate. As you fabricated feathers and flesh and fur and fins and fleece, Lord, did you run your hand over the exquisite softness of the down on the underside of the goose’s belly and the prickly quills on the porcupine’s back, enjoying the sensations you felt in your hand?

And in the mind-boggling birthing of man and woman, whose parts fit together in such perfect symmetry that there is no earthly song to be sung in praise of the beauty of flesh that could do your creation justice, did you desire companionship, children of your own to love and to love you back? Were you, at the outset of creation, lonely for company, for people to talk with and weep over, for children to sit at your feet in rapt attention, for flesh to caress? Did you plan at that bourning time that what your creation should last forever? And in the making of your people for yourself and in your image, did you envision that death would enter the picture and that you would be finished with your creation only in your playing the biggest joke of them all?

For into this perfect creation, in which you desired that men and women live in harmony without shame and in perfect love and obedience, came sin. Sin of knowledge, sin of greed - the sin of humanity. And whether we believe that the creation story written in the Bible is the God Almighty inspired truth or whether it is an explanation told in the best words and concepts understood at the time of its writing to explain the slow process of evolution of species, seems not to matter much. For the story of creation written there is surely the story of the mighty power of the Creator, the story by which mankind fell into sin and the story of salvation by which you lovingly planned to redeem your creation.

So came sin, preparing the stage for the unfolding of the biggest absurdity of them all in the act of creation.

For that joke was surely when you decided to do the unthinkable - to be born into your creation as a human baby, birthed through a female squatting amidst the dung of a stable as you came howling into the perfect-world-gone-awry. As the size of yourself diminished from eternity into the seed of an embryo only to grow again into a baby over the nine month period that it takes for even God to be formed into human flesh in the womb, were you thinking of the man you would become and the pain and death ahead which was part of your plan of salvation, or did you simply wait in obedient expectation for the ascension which would come thirty-three years later to fulfill the grace which you knew already existed? And this huge joke you played was the only means of buying your people back into the sheepfold that you could fathom - instead of giving your people your creation, you would give them yourself in their place! What a joke to play! What a laugh! What tears must have flowed from your compassionate heart and eyes!

What a joke, what a laugh, what a catastrophe that God himself must enflesh and die to save the world he created! But what a magnificent plan He conceived! The old creation which began in darkness surely consummated and concluded in the words uttered from the cross "It is finished!" And with these words, the message of God to mankind was that creation was finally finished as the building crescendo of the song of creation ceased and was replaced once again by deafening silence.

Darkness, void, silence - once again. Nearly nothing.

But into the dark silence of the void left by the death of God in our midst, creation happened yet anew. A light was born from the darkest hour of history’s time line as within the risen Christ, a whole new body burst forth, not just from the empty tomb, but for all children of every time and place as they are gathered into one new, magnificent body forevermore. This body is the journey home, the song of life and its victory over death, the everlasting life which will one day exist, but also exists even now in our already, not-yet existence. It is the New Jerusalem within New York and Beijing and Bethlehem and Beirut and all other places where we still live in selfcaptivity in the old creation. It is inside people as we live our lives within God's creation. But it is just outside our grasp today as He prepares us to move forward into the life which is to come, the new creation which began at the mouth of an empty tomb, the glory of the resurrection, the peace which passes our understanding - the reverse birth of children back, not into the womb which bore us into the old creation, but into the flesh of the body in eternity.

"And I will raise you up, and I will raise you up, and I will raise you up on the last day!" we sing, believing that Christ is coming again in glory to raise us up into His presence forevermore. And whether we have died and no longer live in the old creation of this world or whether we still have life and breath and the bodies God has given us here or whether we have been asleep, waiting to be gathered in, we will join together with people of every time and place in the glorious new body which we are intended to be, separate and together all at the same time, singing together in perfect harmony in the presence of the light which molds creation anew. But even in the song we sing today, there is joy, there is waiting, there is patience, there is promise - there is hope. Hope for a new beginning. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope in the old creation. Hope for the new. Hope anew. Hope. Ho...ho...hope!