Turning the World
Kris Judd of Kansas City, MO, USA
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord. -Psalm 98:4-6
God’s intention for creation was fulfilled and made known in God’s generous act of love and light through the life and ministry of Christ. Yet, all these years later we’re still waiting on the world to change. The holy night of which we as Christians sing, on which children of all ages don old pillow cases, wigs, and bathrobes, is the celebration of the world’s turning toward light.
The world turned that night, though it was perceptible to only a few-shepherds, wise men, a young couple, and angels. At least that is how the story goes. Two thousand years ago the world turned, is turning still, and as the hymn, “Canticle of the Turning” (Community of Christ Sings 404) expresses, is about to turn.
To be and at the same time become, a concept difficult for some, is a paradox. As Spirit-led people, our journey in mission will increasingly lead us into paradoxical encounters. They will invite us to hold in tension being, doing, and becoming as natural elements of the spiritual life. We’re simultaneously waiting for change and experiencing it.
God’s dream of infusing all of creation with love and light, bringing unity and oneness to all, was understood in early Celtic spirituality. Early missionaries to the British Isles exposed these tribal people to Christianity. The theology and practice of Christian faith flourished within the Celtic culture, enhanced by awareness of the presence and movement of the holy in all things.
Creation-including man, woman, and child-was sacred, and it reflected the nature of God. Separation between spirit and matter was an illusion, and the presence of God permeated all aspects of life. It affirmed the Worth of All Persons and all of created order. The work of the individual was to pay attention and give thanks.
For the Celts, to look to God was not to look away from life, but to look more deeply into it. The holy was not found in the distant future of another dimension, but in the ordinariness of gardening and gathering, stitching and singing, cooking and cleaning, working and waiting. And God was found within one another. They held that at the heart of each life born was the image of God.
Aware as they were of the thin and transparent separation between humans and God, a sense of oneness was palpable. And Christ, the embodiment of God’s dream for the world, shalom, was at the heart of oneness. It is the same oneness we seek today in our waiting and in our living. It is the oneness that is turning the world.
God with us.
Take time each day in this season to notice what feels most alive in you. Spend some time holding the feeling, and ask what it may be trying to tell you about the Spirit at work in your life. Notice what it may be forming in you. Pay attention to where it may lead. How can what is most life-giving reveal the presence and invitation of God in and around us.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.