As we begin the process of unfolding the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversation practice within the cathedral community, I am thinking a lot about authentic conversations between humans in which their collective intelligence is harvested to influence their lives together.
I wonder what conversation within the life of the Trinity is like. What generativity did God, as three in one, allow in the vulnerability of the creation of humanity with our beauty and our violence?
In the Book of Genesis, in the first chapter, God is creating the planet. God speaks creation into being. God says poetry to speak existence and to speak creation. I guess that is why Jesus comes to us as the Word and not just as the idea. In creation, God says things like “let there be a dome, let the waters under the sky be gathered, the the earth put forth vegetation, let there be lights in the dome, let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, let the earth bring forth living creatures.” God goes into this repetitive mantra, this sing-songy chorus of let us… let us… let us… let us… and ends that work with calling it good.
But then, in Genesis there is a pregnant pause.
God seems to pause before proceeding with the last bit of creation.
God steps back from His divine potter’s wheel and waits before making this next creature. In verse 26, God changes the cadence and the word-structure of the speaking of creation; and since God chooses to speak creation into existence rather than making it in utter silence, one notices the shift.
God, before making humanity, pauses.
God says “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness…” God shifts from “let there be” to “let us.” God, in the life of the Trinity, seems to call a meeting. And it occurs to me that since God has just made the planet and all its creatures in this myth, God includes non-human and para-human creation in this meeting God is calling. God says “let us make” as if making humanity is a matter of, perhaps, some concern. And given what I see on the planet today, I can see why. It seems as if God says “um…the planet is lovely…um….what do we all think about this next “creation?” Before we actually press “send” on the divine keyboard of creation’s email – can we just think on this a minute?. Because, once we do this….