Reading Genesis 1:31
God looked over everything She had made;
it was so good, so very good!
It was evening, it was morning — Day Six
adapted from the Message Version by Adam Scott
[for email copyright box: The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson]
There is a moment in the creation of Creation when God looks on everything with delight. Ponder that for a moment. Consider the loving gaze. God attending to goodness. Maybe this holy hedonism reveals something of the nature of God, and may cause us to stumble over our assumptions about the Creation tales? Sometimes we listen to these stories as being about betrayal, falling from grace, expulsion, and yet in Genesis 1:31 we are presented with an image of God’s joy at Creation.
Now it would be untrue to say that the Creation tales do not acknowledge the disorder which we find in humanity. They give us an honest view of existence, namely the weighty responsibility each of us has for our own lives, our capricious ability to choose evil as well as good, the shadowy nature of souls, and the disturbing reality of death. Maybe they even leave us with an image of God’s disapproving eye, scanning Creation with disappointment?
Tension can birth creativity; life is both full of beauty and suffering. Each side must be balanced against the other lest we fall into empty hope, or crushing despair. Careful contemplation of both hope and despair have their place in the Christian life. But I wonder if, as disciples, we tend to lean towards the despair in life – the lack of resource, the difficulties within relationships, the disappointments that inevitably come, and the resulting acedia.
I wonder what it would be like to acknowledge the difficulties in life, but to also follow God’s lead and lookout for the goodness around us? Even just for a moment. Maybe today we can ponder, in the words of the poet Patrick Kavanagh, the ‘spirit-shocking wonder’ in ourselves, our communities and all of Creation. Maybe we could even go further and examine, study, explore this beautiful goodness.
Who knows what we will see if we open ourselves to God’s holy hedonism.
Take a moment to quiet yourself,
ask the Spirit to help you see the goodness and beauty around you,
dwell on what you discover and thank God for your contemplations.