Sunday, January 06, 2013

Space for the Other

I just love this (taken from Brian McLaren's Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? which asks whether we can fashion a Christian identity that is both strong and hospitable to others' core identities):

In stark contrast to many ancient creation myths, Genesis tells us that the universe does not begin in conflict and rivalry among the gods. It begins peacefully, in the creative words “Let there be.” Through these words of permission, space and time open up to make room for the new and the other to exist.  Since all creation is, in this sense, “other than God,” all human beings, together with all created things, have their origin in the same unfolding story of making space for the other. We wouldn't be here if it weren't for the creative hospitality of the God who is host, not hostile, to the other....
We live within a relationship of diversity without division: we are made on the same creation date as the reptiles and cattle, for example, and we are formed from the same dust. All living things are different but related; distinct but united. Similarly male and female are not too warring factions; one is not superior and the other inferior: we are different but related distinct but united.
This creation, then is a garden of harmony, not a war zone of hostility. It comes equipped, not with oppositional religions that divide, but rather with the naked spirituality that includes and unifies all things in one fabric of creation. Trees and rivers, sky and stars declare God's glory for everyone; exclusive temples and membership only cathedrals are unnecessary. And so, according to our doctrine of  creation, we are created by God to live in harmony with God and with all creation in all its wild diversity. We are created for harmony with one another, meaning “one with the other,” and male with female, us with them, and dynamic unity without uniformity.