“Peace on Earth GAIA” by Tom Romeo
Christians seems to be all too aware of the creation stories in Genesis. God forms the earth and creates all the life upon it. Both creation accounts in Genesis explicitly mention the creation of human beings, either in pairs (Genesis 1:27), or as Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:7, 22). On one level we recognize that we have life in the physical sense because God created. How often to we recognize that God also gave birth to us spiritually?
When I saw the artwork above, I immediately recalled the female birth imagery in scripture that describe God bringing forth God’s people. God created human beings, then reached out to them to cultivate relationship, and lay the foundation for their spirituality with covenants and interaction recalled in scripture. We are part of a spiritual lineage going back to the beginning of humanity. The first of those to have faith, make offerings, and are righteous before God all began the genealogy of God’s faithful of which Christians are a part. God did not just create flesh and bone, but virtue and spirit. The Lord looked down upon creation and brought forth redemption and renewal. Our birth is twofold: we are born from the womb and receive physical life, but we are also born of the Spirit. According to Christ:
“Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above’ ” (John 3:5-7).
The water birth, our physical introduction to the world, is easy. It is thrust upon us. We had no choice. We just live and breathe. But the spiritual birth is a choice, a conscious one that entails obligation, acknowledgement, and its own burdens to bear. We are called to be a reborn people. We are called to be a people born of God’s efforts and connection with humankind. We were birthed of God’s unfailing and unfathomable grace. Our relationship with our divine parent is not based upon gratitude for a one time act of creation, but the continual efforts to be in relationship with us which is no easy task. We push God away. We reject God’s commandments, God’s will for us. We turn our back on our obligations as believers. We refuse to honor our covenant. We allow of sinful nature and our sins to come between us and God. We choose our way over God’s. Christians cannot forget all the pain with which God forged a people of the Light, a people molded in the image of Christ. To have children who turn a blind eye to their spiritual nature, and from whence it comes, can only be as painful to God as the child to turns their back on their mother or father. To honor our heavenly parent necessitates honoring our spiritual birth and fulfilling what it means to be a spiritual Child of God.
You gave birth to this world,
And all the life upon it.
With great care and in delicate fashion you formed us.
You did not stop with a flesh form and a beating heart;
You gave us spiritual life and offered us relationship with you.
Too often we turn our back on you;
We refuse to acknowledge our two fold purpose.
We are children of the earth and children of the light.
In the image of God we were created.
In the image of Christ we are redeemed.
Help us to be a birthed people in the fullest sense.
So that we will be born of water and the Spirit.
May others see our spiritual renewal,
Experience our life as redeemed people,
And desire the same in their lives.
To be your spiritual heirs is the highest honor.
Although we are not worthy,
Let us share this blessings with others.
In your holy name.