Monday, May 30, 2011

Preach One: In the Beginning...

We were just a few days into the season after the Epiphany when we gathered at Kanuga for KKQ 2011.  There were indeed many epiphanies in store for all of us as we learned new techniques, saw patterns and shapes emerge, told stories as we worked, and made dear new friends.  Every morning we held a brief and quiet service of Holy Eucharist; in the evenings, we held Evening Prayer.  My joy and delight as chaplain was to weave our prayers and practice together in short homilies, humbly offered.

Friday Morning, Holy Eucharist
Psalm 139:1-9; John 1:1-16

In the beginning...

In the beginning, this is all we have...yarn, needles, fabric, scissors...and somehow they become in time a beautiful creation.  We heard a podcast on the way up here in which Melynda Bernardi, designer of the French Press Slippers, was marveling over this miracle.  It starts with a single line, she said, a strand of yarn working its way toward and through your needles.  Even then all you have is a piece of flat fabric.  A few more stitches, a trip through the washer, and suddenly all the empty spaces are linked together and that flat line becomes three dimensional, warm, soft, and delightful - a pair of felted slippers.

In their book The Knitting Way: A Guide to Spiritual Self-Discovery, Linda Skolnik and Janice MacDaniels put it this way: "Loops, bumps, color, smoothness, and roughness are all formed from one line, joined together as the construction material for countless objects of beauty and utility."

In the beginning...the possibilities are endless.  How did it happen for God, in the beginning?  Did God start with a pattern?  A plan?  Or as American poet James Wheldon Johnson imagines, did God create according to whim and whimsy and the deep wishes of God's heart?

In Johnson's poem, God steps out on space and says, "I'm lonely.  I'll make me a world."  God flings the sun and moon into place and spangles the heavens with stars.  Where God steps, valleys sink in and mountains rise up.  God bats his eyes to make lightning and the cooling rains that fall.  God curls rainbows about his shoulders.  "I'm still lonely," God says.  And kneeling by a stream, "like a mammy kneeling over her baby," God scoops up mud and breathes over it and

We will all be creating today - it is one of the graces upon grace that God has given us, to be creators of things, imaginers of beauty, capable of whim and whimsy and deep wishes for things to be.  Some of what we create will be according to the patterns put before us.  Indeed, the patterns are sometimes our lifelines in the beginning.  But some of what we create will be as free and poetic as God flinging stars and batting eyelashes.  In addition to creating knitted and quilted things we will be creating friendships.  We will be creating community, according to our deep wish and true joy in making connections.

We will be weaving threads and colors and textures.  We will be creating spaces and we will be linking those spaces together.  We will be weaving stories and laughter and learning.  In the beginning all we have is this...yarn, needles, fabric, scissors, and one another...but in the beginning there are countless options and opportunities and a beautiful common thread, how we are joined to and with God in the act of creation.

What will you create today?  What is God creating in and through and all around you in the beginning?

Let us pray.  Holy God, In the beginning, on the very first morning, you said "Let there be light," and there was light, and you saw that the light was good.  So fill us with your light this day that we might see your creating Spirit still at work around us, through us, and within us; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who was in the beginning with you, the light of the world.  Amen.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Thanks for the memories of those magical days at Kanuga and the weaving of spirits and yarns and fabrics into joy.