For Advent, I preached through the four parts of Matthew Fox’s landmark book Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality Presented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes, and Two Questions. The following are the sermon titles and a brief summary:
What would Christianity look like if the focus were Original Blessing, not Original Sin; Creation Spirituality, not the Fall/Redemption story; and social justice, not individual perfectionism?
Last week our focus was the Via Positiva, the ‘Positive Way’ of befriending Creation. And we considered this invitation from one of the largest possible perspectives given the limitations of our finite human point of view. We asked, “What does it look like to do theology in the context of a 13.7 billion old Universe that includes more than 100 billion galaxies?” This week’s sermon inverses our trajectory. Having expanded our consciousness in an attempt to include the fullness of the universe, we are now invited to walk the path of the Via Negativa: the ‘Negative Way’ of befriending darkness, letting go, and letting be.
The musical Rent proclaims, “The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation.” Our souls long for an alternative to destructive violence that is not a peaceful passivity, but time and space to co-create in partnership with God, who is the Creator — connecting us to the creative impulse at the heart of the 13.7 billion year evolutionary process. How is God calling you to explore the path of the Via Creativa: the way of partnering with God to co-create a more hopeful, just, and beautiful future?
Our challenge is to shift our sense of solidarity from “me” to “We,” to “All of Us,” to “ALL.” As twenty-first century Christians we are invited to see Paul’s call for us to put on the “mind of Christ” as about learning to view life from a cosmo-centric perspective. “New Creation” is about that transformed way of being human that comes from experiencing the world from the perspective of Original Blessing, Creation Spirituality, and social justice. God is for the 100%, for everyone, for ALL, for a revitalized sense of the commonweal, and for a recommitment to the common good.
The Rev. Carl Gregg is a trained spiritual director, a D.Min. candidate at San Francisco Theological Seminary, and the pastor of Broadview Church in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. Follow him on Facebook (facebook.com/carlgregg) and Twitter (@carlgregg).