Monday, November 2, 2009

As the Tree Stretches Toward the Heavens

Although we saw some heavy rains last week, Houston has now entered another period of glorious fall weather. As of Monday morning, I've hardly seen a cloud in three days.

In all their aspects—from the beautiful to the frightening to the inconspicuous to the delicate—those things without human makers stand among the best evidence of God's existence. Even in our overly urbanized society, we see enough of the sun and the rain, the flowers and the grass, the birds and the insects to confirm Paul's words in Rom. 1:19-20 (NIV): "what may be known about God is plain... because God has made it plain to [us]. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" for denying God's existence.

Not that they haven't tried. After all, a chance "big bang" and the blind processes of random selection are far less likely to make inconvenient demands on us than might a God with a mind and heart. If there is no personal God, we are free to do as we please—though we're quick enough to complain when, as Paul goes on to describe in Rom. 1:29-31, the effects of everyone else doing as he or she pleases start to look seriously ugly.

Others of us fail to give God the glory for Creation simply because we're "too busy" to pay attention to it. One much-quoted "prose poem" sometimes called "Letter from a Friend" (click here to read it) poignantly describes how much pain it must cause our Lord when we go about preoccupied with our human concerns, giving not a thought to the beauty with which He constantly surrounds us.

The Bible contains many references to Creation praising its Maker (see, for example, Ps. 69:34, Is. 55:12, and Lk. 19:40). May we who belong to Christ never be put to shame by trees and rocks.

As the tree stretches toward the heavens,
Pointing ever up toward the sky,
Let us lift up our hands in worship;
Let us give praise to God on High.

As the swallow soars through the heavens,
Swift and graceful as summer's wind,
Let us let our hearts soar in worship
Of the Lord on Whom we depend.

As the stars shine on in the heavens,
Glowing lovely and pure and bright,
Let us each be a sign of worship,
To show all of our world God's light.

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