“When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.
And now, my children, listen to me; happy are those who keep my ways.”
Proverbs 8 gives us an eloquent expression of a universal reality. This universal reality, which is seen as the vessel of God’s creative activity, has been called by many names. That’s partly because its essence transcends conceptual boundaries. Solomon refers to this reality as “wisdom,” but it’s difficult for me to read this proverb and not think of Jesus. In these days between Christmas and Epiphany, we focus on Jesus as the earthly manifestation of a primordial reality. While we rightly look upon his earthly life as our divine pattern of obedience, we remember that his life didn’t begin in the manger. He was with the Father from the beginning, joining with him in the process of creation. We can see Jesus just as clearly in Proverbs 8 as we can in John 1.
Jesus is at once the archetype of creation and the vessel through whom all things came to be. Colossians 1 tells us that the spiritual presence of Jesus is holding it all together. Subtracting the Spirit of Jesus from creation doesn’t lead to despair. It leads to complete disintegration. Jesus is our teacher. Jesus is our healer. Yet he is above all else a walking symbol of our connection with God. He is a reminder of God’s intense longing for intimacy and he opens the way for us to experience this intimacy for ourselves. He is the example, plus the energy to follow it. If we are wise, we will submit to his presence and we will seek to follow in his ways.
Open our eyes to the presence of Jesus within the created order. The reality of death and rebirth surrounds us, yet the awareness of Jesus eludes us. Give us eyes to see.
AND THE WORD BECAME FLESH, AND MADE HIS DWELLING AMONG US.
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