Earth’s habitus

A meditation on creation

by Ken Sehested

“All of creation is a song of praise to God.” —Hildegard of Bingen

Creation is not simply the props and drops,
the costumes and orchestra,
the catwalks and footlights
on the stage of salvation’s drama.
Rather, creation is an active part
in history’s narration.
Without the cosmos,
Salvation’s story
cannot be comprehended.
Without earth’s habitus,
the play’s opening is obscured,
the storyline confused,
the finale unintelligible.

When John’s Gospel surmises
that Jesus was the Word,
with God from the beginning
and without whom nothing was made,
John was affirming both
            the sameness
            the newness
of the Jesus story:
A seamless unfolding of divine purpose
marked with an exclamation point,
whose function is not vengeance but penitence,
whose dominion overturns all domination,
whose triumph is manifest as mercy,
whose royalty does not impugn dignity,
whose manner is not condescending but befriending,
whose nativity draws riff-raff shepherds and
strangers beyond covenant boundary,
whose warranty promises
to seed the barren,
deed the refugee,
feed the famished,
taming every terrorist threat,
draining usury’s debt,
every racketeering fray,
every poacher’s prey.

The earth, sisters and brothers,
            is the Lord’s.
Mess with her at the peril
of your own heart’s beat,
your own lungs’ breath.

©Ken Sehested @