Friday, October 24, 2008

Acts and New Creation

Ok, so remember when I first started writing this blog and everything was about 1 Corinthians? Well, now everything's about Acts. Because I've started teaching a Sunday class about Acts instead of Corinthians.

In any case, the image of Pentecost came to mind: the tongues of fire at Pentecost starting at a single point and fanning out to rest on each believer. This is parallel to the general action of the book: Acts is about starting at a single point (the resurrection of Jesus) and fanning out, person to person, from Jerusalem to Rome, the world catching fire from a storm of winds.

And why stop there? The universe itself started that way: a single point so small it didn't even have dimensions, a Big Bang, space and time fanning out, overflowing and catching fire. Life started that way: a single organism that's a complex set of chemical reactions, on fire with the energy of metabolism, reproducing, begetting, spreading out, filling every available niche. The chemical reaction running life is the exact same overall reaction of a candle burning: hydrogen and carbon meet oxygen and burn. Your mitochondria are on fire.

This is the "fire-works" model of creation, and it's true for the universe, true for biological life, true for the church on Pentecost, and true for the church after Pentecost. Because all four are acts of creation, of God breathing new life and energy into this universe.

God made sky and soil,

sea and all the fish in it.

He always does what he says—

he defends the wronged,

he feeds the hungry.

God frees prisoners—

he gives sight to the blind,

he lifts up the fallen.

Psalm 146 (Excerpt, The Message trans.)

1 comment:

Patrick said...

YOUR mitochondria are on fire.