Friday, December 19, 2008

Creation vs. Incarnation

In her essay, "'Tis the Season: Holidays, Harvest, and the Psalms," Lynn Domina says, "For me, and I suspect for many writers and other artists, even for those of us enthusiastically identifying with a Trinitarian tradition, the most compelling divine characteristic is not incarnation but creation" (page 117 of Poets on the Psalms, a wonderful book of essays, edited by Lynn Domina, published by Trinity University Press in 2008).

We're deep in the season of Advent, so I've already been contemplating the mysteries of incarnation. How many other religions have a god who takes on human form and dwells among us? I've always found that aspect of Christianity compelling.

But I've also always identified with the Creator aspect of God. I especially love the earlier Genesis story of creation (the one that doesn't revolve around Adam and Eve and a snake). God creates all sorts of things and declares them good. Sometimes very good. You never see God saying, "What a lousy rough draft. I'll never be able to do anything with this crap I just created." No. God loves all of the creations.

I'm lucky to be part of a Lutheran tradition that doesn't emphasize sin and the cross. Oh, it's there. But we emphasize the Kingdom of God, breaking through to us in all sorts of ways: incarnation and creation are the most visible.

Incarnation vs. Creation. Which is most important? Or can they even be separated?

Something to ponder, as we hurl ourselves towards Christmas.

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