Monday, 30 April 2007

The Story of the Universe

I will attempt to tell this story as I know it.
In the beginning, there was God.
This word - God - has been bandied about for centuries; millennia, if you want to talk cross-linguistically. Therefore, I shall be a good essayist and defiine my terms. By God I mean the highest and first that was and is. The Eternal One. The Most High. The absolute Source of all Good - Love, Light, Truth. He who fills all, and is in all.
I don't know what was the situation that made the time (a term utterly unknown in eternity, but I'll use it here for ease of understanding) ripe for love to be multiplied and reflected. Perhaps it was the challenging of God's authority by one of the highest beings in his service - an angel of light. That angel sought personal glory and power rather than Love. Maybe God decided military might, power, and authority were not the means by which he would ensure the reign of love and goodness in the universe. It could be that he decided to teach his remaining angels by an object lesson instead of a display of raw power.
In any case, he embarked on a very dangerous plan - dangerous because it did not immediately crush evil, but instead allowed Love's antagonist unprecedented power as a means of demonstrating its inherent inferiority to good; to love.
God created suns and stars that demonstrate, by contrast, the difference between moral light and darkness. He created a plethora of green, growing things that testified to the power of life. He created animals, through whom his warm compassion and wildness were displayed. But then, God created something quite unlike all that had been created before. He created humanity.
Humans were different from all the rest of creation in this: while all the rest of creation by its very nature glorified God, the Source of Love, humans God created like himself - personal, able to participate in that greatest of all things: Love. This was God's most glorious and dangerous invention. It was dangerous, because humanity was given the ability to choose. They could choose evil - selfishness - instead of love. Humans were vastly different from angels - they were nearly gods themselves. Such was the power and the glory God created in them that even he would not be able to take it back. If they chose evil, it would gain great power in the universe. But they could choose to love as no other creature could.
If humanity chose evil, it would have power in them. If they chose God, they would rule by and be ruled by love. Love would be reflected in myriad lives and thoughts and personalities, each a little different; each mirroring Light from a different angle.
Alas! Self, or the personal-ness like his own that God had given humanity, was used to trap the first man and woman into choosing evil rather than God. Evil gained the right to live among humans. Its power grew in the universe and destructive forces were allowed power from God throughout the earth. It seemed as though Love's rule was on the wane. Had God miscalculated?
God had a plan that was going to answer the challenge of selfishness. It was a plan that would cost him in the deepest way possible - causing him to take on pain. What is the most devastating pain for Love?
Being the one to give pain.
God himself, in Jesus, stepped out of eternity and into time. He limited himself as he had never done before. He took on a human body and submitted himself to all the indignities of living in a world under the rule of evil. For the first time, he knew weakness - hunger and thirst and tiredness. Finally, he submitted himself fully to that last triumph of selfishness - death.
All of eternity stood breathless at the sight. God had been challenged, and now mocked.
But just as a choice had sold God's creation out of his hand, a choice had been made by one of humanity's own - Jesus - to redeem it back to God. Each one would, by a choice, decide his master. God could not force humanity to choose love. But he had demonstrated its beauty and power over selfishness at the greatest price he could pay.
The angels looking on, were learning about Love - its cost, its value. They were also learning the emptiness of selfishness' golden promise. The challenge had been met, fully. Oh, there were battle scars (there always are!). Jesus would bear the marks of his sacrifice forever. Never again would he be Spirit alone.
The days and the weeks measure the passage of time, and many moons have waxed and waned, and still we humans go stepping, stepping through time's portals, tricked into pleasing self instead of Love and blinded by the evil that grows more powerful as we choose it. Still the angels watch and wonder at their God.
But time has an end, and one day God will decide that the power of love has been fully demonstrated. Choice will be no longer a tender shoot, pushing its way up. At the last, it will die or blossom, and the reign of love throughout the universe will be once again triumphantly complete, and richer than ever before, multiplied and glorified and reflected from millions of human souls who have chosen not only Love, but to love.

2 comments:

kathleen said...

Jen, for a few years I held your hand and taught you as best I could. Now I sit at your feet and marvel as you teach me things that I could never have taught you. Your heavenly Father has instilled in you a knowledge that I in my business of life have not learned. Thank you for expressing the Wisdom of God through your words to us.

jennypo said...

Thanks Mom, but you know all too well what I am, and just how little wisdom I have.