December 1, 2013

Glory and Grandeur

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork

 (Psalm 19:1).

 

The vast riches of Godís majesty are signified by every work of Godís creation, from the very great to the extremely small. There is nothing about the natural environment God has designed to surround and support us that does not show Godís greatness ó if we have eyes to see and hearts to understand.

The more urbanized our culture becomes, the more difficult it is for us to keep in contact with nature. Our automated, technological way of life cuts us off from the primary evidence for God. It is no coincidence that deep faith in the reality of God is more widespread in agrarian communities, where people interact more with the marvelous things that God has made and less with the things of manís making. The farmer who has a chance every morning before the sun comes up to rub his hand gently along the side of his milk cow, feeling her heartbeat, has an eloquent advantage over the executive who knows little more than the feel of his computer keyboard. The less daily contact we have with what God has created, the more difficult it is to think of God as we should.

Or perhaps our habitatís powerful statements about God donít impress us because they are so commonplace. Weíve seen sunsets on many occasions. A flower is nothing new. We saw the snow fall so many times last winter we wished weíd never see it again. And that ingenious raccoon who gets into our garbage can is nothing but a nuisance. At some point, we simply quit paying attention. Even the most amazing things cease to amaze us.

But the vast, eternal sweep of Godís wisdom, love, and power remains, waiting for us to open our eyes wide with the wonder that was so easy when we were children. The thunderous surf pounds the rocky shoreline every day. The clouds billow and continue their lazy drift across the blue sky. The aged oak welcomes the sparrows into its branches. The deer lifts his antlers and sniffs the wind, his ears alert. A clear stream tumbles noisily down the mountainside while the massive peak above silently surveys the earth for miles around. Everywhere, and in all things, the creation scintillates with the glory of its Maker.

 

ďThe world is charged with the grandeur of God.Ē

Gerard Manley Hopkins