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Nothing – Not One Thing

May Anglican Church Calendar theme “All Things Created” reflection.

The Message translation of the month of May Church Calendar scripture theme:

John 1:3 “Everything was created through God: nothing – not one thing! – came into being without God.”

Or in the words of St. Augustine:  God made “all things, from an angel to a worm.” And since the quote is from the Gospel according to St John, we know that from the heart, John speaks not of the works or actions of God, but of Gods very own self. God the creator, the maker of all things, has been the song for the month of May! As the new hymn book supplement of the Anglican Church of Canada is so aptly name, May is the time to “Sing A New Creation”! In the midst of this troubled world, we have walked through the month of May from a time of recovery from winter, the barrenness of the landscape, and the April showers and rain, into the bursting new life of May. So our songs combine the shadows of suffering and darkness with confidence and praise in the goodness of God our creator and maker.

I have watched my nieces and nephews at play creating. Grandma and Grandpa’s fridge has been covered over the years by their drawings, there have been amazing creations of their imaginations that have turned Lego blocks into interesting and thought-provoking shapes, and it brings into focus our own, sometimes forgotten, sense of joy and freedom and creativity at whatever project we ourselves begin! What we create is very much a part of us, entwined into our very own selves as we create.

I have mentioned in my previous reflections that I believe, I know, that God lives within everything that God has made! When we say grace before eating a meal, we are acknowledging that God has been invited and is joining us. when we pass the peace to each other in the Eucharist, we are acknowledging that we see the face of God in each other. There are many ways that we consciously or unconsciously acknowledge God in our midst. Musing on the act of creating, on God our Creator … it is a good time to think about some of these ways, ways we take so for granted that perhaps we have lost some of the awesomeness of what really is!

Yes, for me the month of May has been a time of singing a new creation into being. It is new every morning. Each day as I have looked out the window or walked around the Convent grounds or gone down to my favourite beach in the Toronto Harbour area, I see new things being created, new growth, new energy, new building. May has indeed been a time to join God in singing – creating – something new.  I have found myself taking on a new project, one small garden I hope to transform and also an inner project of finding more space in my own life for new things to have room to grow in my heart and soul.

I have pondered what it feels like when I am in the midst of some new project, something I am creating. There is something that creates a sense of awesomeness when I begin creating something new and amazing!  That spark of a new idea when it comes and then the moment when I stand back and admire the work that I have done, something I couldn’t have imagined doing before that idea popped into my head. Once on the journey of creating something new, I think we all find that we can’t rest until we see it to the end! There are feelings of focus, excitement, and freedom. Sometimes feelings of being overwhelmed and even frustrated, a bumpy time when things don’t seem to be going well.

I have often pondered the creation stories in Genesis, and wondered how God felt – excited, smiling, frowning in concentration … made in the image and likeness of God, I smile knowing that all the emotions that we have in beginning something new must have been there for God as well. And over it all in satisfaction, God makes that great statement “and behold it is good, very good!”

 I have often found that the process of creating frequently promotes a feeling of connection and community. The act of creating has the ability to unite people and heal divisions, it brings out our deeper selves, our vulnerabilities, let down the sometimes-present protective shield we have around ourselves by sharing our joy and our ideas. This seems to be true whether one is working with others on a creative project or working alone, and just admiring and sharing what has been created!

How about you? How does creation feel to you? I’d like to share a Hymn with you that really expresses for me just what creations does to me, that nothing, not one thing is created without God.

I share a hymn from “Sing A New Creation” #94:

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea, creation’s revealing your majesty.
From colours of fall to the fragrance of spring, every creature unique in the song that it sings,
All exclaiming indescribable, uncontainable, you placed the stars in the sky, and you know them by name. You are amazing God. All powerful, untamable, awestruck, we fall to our knee, as we humbly proclaim, you are amazing God.

Who has told the lightning bolt where it should go, or seen heavenly store-houses laden with snow?
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light, yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night?
None can fathom, indescribable, uncontainable, you placed the stars in the sky, and you know them by name. you are amazing, God. incomparable, unchangeable. You see the depths of my heart and you love me the same; you are amazing God.

This is awesome, more than we could ever ask or imagine, more than we could ever conceive. Nothing – not one thing – comes into being without God.  You are an amazing God!

This is the song for the month of May – nothing, not one thing – we are being invited to sing in, with God, a new creation that will lead us back to the understanding that creation, all of it, me and you, are the revelation of God’s overflowing love. We are being invited to fan the flames of love. Invited to become and continue to become creators with our Creator God.