Love Notes: Reflections by Rev. Kelly Dignan
I was in the church office with a few folks and commented that I was just about to write my newsletter column. They asked about the theme, and I explained it was Creation. I said, “Where do I begin?” And one person said, “With the Big Bang!”
What a good idea.
Every culture has a central creation story that describes how the cosmos and the people who inhabit it came to be. The Babylonian creation story is Enuma Elis. Hopi legend tells that the current earth is the Fourth World inhabited by Taiowa’s creations and the obedient people led there, usually by Spider Woman. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, creation is described in the book of Genesis. There are hundreds more.
Myths and stories are important to religion because they speak to our subconscious minds, affect us at a deep level, and influence our basic assumptions and attitudes.
Many Unitarian Universalists identify as Religious Naturalists. William Murry, a Unitarian Universalist scholar, defines it as “a perspective that finds religious meaning in the natural world and rejects the notion of a supernatural realm.” In religious naturalism, the creation story begins with the Big Bang, leading to formation of stars and planets and the emergence of life on Earth and human beings. It shows an order and beauty in the workings of physical world, and it gives a sense of our place in a vast and ancient cosmos. (See more at www.religiousnaturalism.org.)
Murry says that this story of the creative, emergent powers of nature continues today in the form of the moral, spiritual, social, and cultural evolution that human creativity is bringing about. In other words, we continue the evolutionary process through our own creativity.
What is the creation story that is meaningful for you? How are you advancing the evolution of our culture through your creativity? How are you using your financial resources to create more love and Unitarian Universalism in the world? This month, we will explore these and other aspects of the theme Creation. As always, I look forward to it!
Love, Rev. Kelly