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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Order from Chaos

In the Ancient Near East (ANE) mythology the ocean was the source of chaos. The land existed in spite of the chaos of the sea which sought to consume and destroy order. The heroes of the creation myths in the ANE had to fight against the chaos and the sea in order to carve out some order.

So when we see God in Genesis hovering over the water it would sound very familiar to someone in the ANE, a battle is about to be joined where God must thwart the chaos to make a tenuous space for order. The surprise is that God doesn't struggle or fight, he just speaks. His words bring order without struggle. God is not opposed to the chaos, he is above it. He brings order, but does not dismiss the sea altogether, rather he creates a balance between the sea and the land. A balance between order and chaos.

When we preach we speak order into chaos. We share the hope of Jesus and the good news of the Kingdom with people who are lost and hurting; with people living in chaos. But our job isn't to eliminate chaos with our well-ordered words, rather we ought to teach a balance between order and chaos.

How do you bring order to the chaos but still leave room for chaos in the order?

1 comment:

geoffrose05 said...

Hi James. I totally concur, Peace brings order. I'd like to contact you about PowerPoints. I had the pleasure of editing your coloring book contribtion. Don't know if you see an email but mine is geoffrose05@yahoo.com