Some bad ideas have a lot of staying power.
You just can’t shake them.
One of the earliest bad ideas of faith, the original sin of faith, is that creation is a bad thing, a barrier and a prison to true spiritual development.
Faith and life in the Spirit are then hostile at worst, indifferent at best, to the creation of the heavens and the earth.
It is the original false news story from which all other lies have spewed.
It’s a sticky nasty lie that has poisoned faith from the beginning, it’s like flypaper, we can’t shake it.
God’s people have always belligerently opposed hostility to and abuse of the goodness of creation.
Scripture begins with the story whose culmination is God saying creation is very good, and God rested because it took everything God had to make it.
Creation is a big deal. It is full of divine intention, purpose and direction It is holy, precious and costly. It is very good dirt. From it humanity was born, carrying God’s image, filling creation with God’s presence.
John’s Gospel this morning continues in that long line of God’s people standing in opposition to the bad idea.
Remember John begins with the poetry of God becoming flesh, God’s glory is beheld in all its fullness in Jesus, the human being, who bleeds and dies and rises physically from the dead.
When Jesus says to touch his wounds, touch the wounds in God, it is an in your face refutation of the bad idea.
We come to faith touching the wounds of God in the flesh and material stuff of creation.
Creation is not something from which life in the Spirit helps us to escape, the mortal coil is not shuffled off.
This good dirt is where God is known.
Earth Day was yesterday.
It is very appropriate that it happens during the great festival of the fifty days of Easter, the resurrection season.
We are an Easter people, time revolves around Easter, the whole year is marked and claimed and hallowed by Easter. It is how Christians have always marked time as belonging to God.
The Physical resurrection of Jesus.
A resurrection in which we are baptized. The created stuff of the Universe is wrapped up in our humanity and brought into communion with the triune God.
This is not a ghostly Jesus, but one who is touched, who cooks food and eats and sits in fellowship.
When Jesus breaths his Spirit onto the disciples, they are not escaping the world, they become part of God’s re-inhabiting a creation that has fallen away by chasing after the lie.
This fragile earth our island home is good dirt.
God wore himself out making it.
God died saving it.
God rose in a physical resurrection to fill it with new life.
Bad ideas do have a way of sticking around.
But the goodness of creation carries the power and beauty of God.
That is the original good idea.
Touch and see the goodness of God.
Believe in the goodness of this earth.