Faith Matters: God is pretty cool, after all
January 29, 2009
At the End of the millennium GQ magazine published a list of the coolest cats of the 20th century. The list was generated from a random sampling of 10th and 11th graders. The Cool Cats as they saw them were The Blues Brothers, Rosie O’Donnel, Dave Matthews, Charles Bukowski, Mahatma Ghandi, and Martin Luther King Jr. And topping the list as the Coolest Cat of the 20th Century, actually the coolest of all time, was GOD. As one student said, “He created everything, thus he must be at least a little cool. Also, it isn’t too smart to say that an all seeing omnipotent being is uncool.”
Yes you heard it straight from GQ Magazine, God is cool. God is cool for many reasons not the least of which is that God created the universe. From the chaos of the formless void, the deep, and the dark, God spoke creation in to being. This cool omnipotent being birthed everything in around from Chaos.
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night” (Genesis 1:1-5, quoted from the NRSV).
Many have thought that according to this Genesis account that God created “ex nihilio”, Latin for out of nothing. Clearly as God created there was stuff with which the Creator worked. There was a formless void, darkness, and waters, when mixed together bear a striking resemblance to Chaos.
So, contrary to popular belief and that popular 1960s sitcom Get Smart, Chaos is not evil. Chaos is the force from which creation and creativity erupts.
Throughout the story of the faithful, which we find in Christian Scriptures, God’s work with chaos did not start and stop with the initial creation. God continued and continues to use chaos as the creative force from which new aspects of creation are birthed.
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God as the Holy Spirit swept over the face of the waters, using the chaos of the deep and dark to bring to life the light of the world.
The Spirit descended upon Noah, and he built a giant boat, amid sneers and jeers.
The Spirit descended upon Abraham and Sarah, and they deserted their homeland, so that they could have descendants as vast as the stars.
The Spirit descended upon Moses and he fought his negative self-image and led his people out of their hard yet stable life as Egyptian slaves into the freedom of the wilderness.
The Breath of God descended upon the Prophet Isaiah as he walked around naked and barefoot speaking God’s word for three years.
The Spirit confronted Mary and she became an unwed teenage mother who delivered a child in a stable.
The Spirit landed upon Jesus, and he brought grace and forgiveness to the world.
God constantly creates from Chaos, bringing glorious opportunities for life. And yet we human beings crave order and stability over Chaos, Why?
Chaos is not safe. Chaos is not comfortable. Chaos is frightening. Our vision is limited; it is hard for us to see beyond the Chaos, especially when we are in the midst of it. It is hard for us to see how God will create out of the hecticness of our lives. It is hard to see how God will create when we don’t have a job. It is hard to see how God will create when our bodies are ravaged by illness. It is hard to see how God will create out of our pain. It is hard to see how God will use our chaos to create.
And yet God does so. God created the universe. God created life. God created new ways for the faithful to live in relationship with each other and with God. So, God will create from chaos in your life.
What will God create? I don’t know, but I do know God will create something new. May you have eyes of wisdom to see and the courage to seize God’s new creation in your life.
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