Friday, 11 July 2008

The Grand Design

"In Christ's work of salvation natural human life is victorious"
Gustav Wingren - Man & the Incarnation.

It was just like coming home.
The mellow, boisterous breeze played across my bared flesh as I listened to the gentle shifting of the sand grains beneath my toes. The sky, a painted blue streaked with strands of thin white of cirrus, presents itself like a bride before the expanding light and warmth of the sun. The lax wash of a mellow tide completes the rhapsody as my wife and I sit amidst it all to eat and drink, to ponder, to play - to enjoy the sheer sweetness of being alive in this astounding place.

If you have spent such a day amidst creation, (or perhaps watched the superb film, Shadowlands), then you'll no doubt know something of the marvel I'm describing. What we can so often neglect and even totally ignore is that this wonder is actually a crucial and inherent part of our spirituality.

In the record of Creation, we come to see two very important things:
1. The very nature of God's revelation of Himself, woven into the record of Genesis 1&2, is open and unconditional - He is the Sovereign and yet He is also amidst the forming of it all, taking of the very earth and investing this with His breath.

2. That we are made 'between' God and the world - invested with that breath but made of the soil, to express the significance of Father, Son and Spirit to all that is made.

This reveals something truly overwhelming. God's intention is for this revelation to be at the very heart of all that is natural - all of life.
Spirituality, therefore, is not something we 'do' only in devotions, or pious acts - it is inherent in our entire existence, and should be as natural as eating or breathing.

"As soon as we make the distinction between natural and supernatural the basis of our thinking", notes Wingren, "human and divine will sharply be divided".

The divide which now marks human life, caused by the fall, is inherently alien to creation.
The necessity is the manner of fellowship evident in God walking amidst our world, finding pleasure in all of it.

The wonder of Christianity is that this fellowship is now renewed in Christ. Through Him, this 'wells up' amidst His living body so that we might drink afresh by grace of that life.

That life, as Irenaeus noted, will one day wholly permeate the renewed creation, entirely penetrating the flesh, exorcising sin and death, to make us once more human.

In the sweetness of a breeze, the lapping of the sea and air, the brightness of a sky, we see a promise as sure as it was to Abraham and Noah, secured in Jesus Christ.
The day is coming when this place will once again, be home.

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