The Resurrection of Nature

Happy Monday, all.  Today’s Moltmann minute comes from Sun of Righteousness, Arise! p.67:

The Catholic liturgy for Easter Eve enjoins the reading of the first creation narrative, Genesis 1. That is a wonderful sign:  the world begins with a ‘resurrection.’ It is called out of the darkness of chaos into the light of the living cosmos. Thus on the very first day of creation–in the midst of the old creation–the work of the new creation flashes up. In this way creation acquires an eschatological character from the beginning, for in this way it can be seen as a great ‘promise’ on God’s part. With this, its future in the kingdom of God is created. All created things are true promises of their completion. Creation out of chaos is like a resurrection, and the resurrection from the power of death is like a new creation. The God who makes the dead live is the same God who calls into existence the things that do not exist. The God who has raised Jesus from teh dead is the creator of the new being of everything created. Resurrection and creation belong together, for the raising of the dead and the annihilation of death are viewed–and rightly so–not only as surmounting the consequences of the Fall, but also as the comsummation of creation-in-the-beginning. In both resurrection and creation the negative is negated and the positive perfected.

 

I appreciate how Moltmann links creation to resurrection. We often hold them so far apart, and in so doing resurrection becomes something of a necessary house-cleaning to the fall of creation gone awry.  I hate to see resurrection limited to that, or relegated to mere clean-up. To see creation ex nihilo, out of nothingness, as God’s first act of resurrection, provides a much richer paradigm for understanding both events.  As Moltmann explains, joining them together in this way makes resurrection not just clean-up crew, but more importantly a fulfillment of a promise given in the very beginning, a fulfillment laying dormant in creation itself.  That promise is beautifully described by imagining the negative being negated and the positive perfected.  Isn’t that a fantastic line for understanding the coming future of God?  That Moltmann. Zingers under his sleeve at all times.

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