I’ve heard it said that in the story of Creation in the Bible, there’s a key to how all the rest of the stories are to be understood. In that story of Creation there are two tellings of the creation of man, male and female. I think both those stories tell us something about the coming forth of the Christ.
The first story says this: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” This tells us that the origin of all people is divine. Our own origin is divine. It’s a simple and profound truth—no matter what it looks like, no matter what you’re feeling or thinking, the truth is that your origin is divine, and so is everyone else’s.
The other Creation story tells of Adam and Eve. It tells how Adam was formed from the dust of the ground, how Eve was created out of Adam’s rib. This story tells us something else about the people that are in our life. It tells us that in a very important way they are created out of us. That’s true whether you are a man or a woman.
In a more mundane way of saying it, I understand that Dr. Phil says we teach the people in our life how to relate to us. We may not be aware of what we’re teaching them, but we are teaching them and they are following our teaching. In that way, we’re inviting a certain kind of relationship from people in our life. We are inviting something from people around us. We are creating a space, and people walk into that space. According to the space that we create, so are the people in our world.
It’s a very powerful story, this story of Eve being created out of Adam’s rib, because it invites us to go yet a step further, beyond the understanding that we are teaching people how to be with us and say that in some very important way, we are creating them. They would not be there in the way that they are, except for your creation of them. They are being created out of your substance. That’s an awesome responsibility.
We could put all kinds of caveats on this, I’m sure. How about what everybody else is creating, for instance? Martin Exeter’s way of talking about that, at least on one occasion, was to say that when we look in the mirror, most of what we see is us. There are the other things in the mirror that are behind us in the bedroom or the bathroom, or wherever we happen to be, but we can assume that when we look in that mirror, most of what we are seeing relates to our creation.
That understanding can be very humbling. It’s humbling to realize that in some important way we are creating the people in our world. It’s also empowering. There is a sacred privilege in creating, out of our own flesh, that which complements us. Isn’t that the story of Adam and Eve? Out of our own flesh we create what complements us. I believe that that’s not only a nice teaching or principle or a nice story; I believe it’s the truth of what we’re doing. We are creating that body of substance on earth that complements the spirit who we are.
So we have a chance to be both that creation, the child of spirit, and also we have the opportunity to be the creator, who creates a body of substance that allows for the incarnation of being. So if this Christmas time has a meaning beyond the usual traditions, is it not this: that the reality of spirit may be present because of a body of substance created on earth that accommodates it?
The body of substance must be of a quality and character which can accommodate the Most High. That is the story of Mary. It is through her, and through whatever was gathered around her at the time, there there was a sufficiency of substance so that the divine could be present. No substance of that quality, no divine presence. For me, and I would think for anyone, this realization is both humbling and empowering. It brings a heightened sense of the sacred privilege of real living.
So I join George Emery, who spoke earlier, in great gratitude for the opportunity we have. I appreciate so deeply, George, the way you represented to me and to all of us here that spirit, which is at the core of this ministry
GAIL DAWSON: David, thank you for those words. And I’m sitting here thinking, well, those could be great words, and I could just leave here and walk over to lunch, and there wouldn’t be an impact. What came to me is this question: How do I live that? How does that show up in my intimate relationships, in my relationships at work, in my relationships here? How does that show up? And I don’t have an answer right now—I could probably throw something off. But I want to live in that question of how does that develop? How do I more fully bring that through relationships? Thank you.
BOB EWING: Thank you, everyone this morning, for bringing to focus the birth of the image and likeness of God into form. That’s where the thirst and passion of the Lord is; that’s where the depth and passion is in each of us. And it can’t be just held within myself. When I look in the mirror, I see how I must love each one around me as being just that. I must not assume that I am weak and defensive and that I’ve got to hold something out and know what’s wrong with somebody else. But I can see, not just the fullness of myself in the mirror, but I see the beauty and wonder of each one. What greater privilege is there but to see other beings, other people, in the first place? Not just the beautiful flowers, not just the beautiful decorations, but to see other people as being the image and likeness of God. That is the thing to hold. And to see that as a collective, something bigger than I may have ever seen before or remember—to see the collective, and how much more effective that is for the Lord. To fill His thirst, to let the waters flow, to be unashamed to say, “I am with you, I am here. I offer all that I am.” May I be worthy and humble and capable of being the expression of the image and likeness of God, in who I am, in who each one here is.