From BBC “Blue Planet 2” (https://www.penguin.co.uk/content/dam/catalogue/pim/editions/62/9781849909679/cover.jpg)
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
When the God of all creation is encountered, there is nothing that we can do, but praise the Lord. That praise rises up from everything that senses behold. It’s in the midst of nature that we begin to recognize the awesome creative abilities of God. We see God in the ocean depths, the weather currents, the hills, the trees and every living creature. Suddenly we notice that all together, creation is singing a song of praise to God on high. It’s starting afresh with an awareness of God’s holy presence in everything. The result is that even the powers created by humanity bow before God.
We are walking into a new year, one whose story has not yet been written. Last year is finished and in the books. For some it was a great chapter in their lives, for others it was lacking. No matter, we can’t live in 2017, but move into 2018 with trepidation, or with great awe and wonder at the work of God. It is an opportunity to start afresh.
The last few weeks I’ve been privileged to spend some time in quiet and solitude. With all the busyness of life, it’s a challenge to find time to just be quiet, and yet, when you disconnect from all the noise, you discover beauty and creation and see the hand of God at work.
The BBC has put out a beautiful series called “Blue Planet.” In the second series we are taken to amazing sights far below the ocean surface. There we discover creatures that we didn’t know existed an an underworld of beauty that is simply breathtaking. The intricacy of that creation, miles and miles below the surface is stunning. Why create something so beautiful that no one sees? It could have been simply black and white, but instead it’s filled with vibrant and beautiful colors, creatures and coral that take your breath away. It all shouts, “Let’s praise the creator of this gorgeous living canvas.” It’s as if creation is calling us to pay attention and to start afresh with our understanding and embrace of a holy and lovingly creative God.
The new year is a time when people make all kinds of resolutions and promises about the future. Maybe it’s a time to reconnect with God. It’s an opportunity to start afresh. We don’t have to allow the past to hold us down, or keep us from moving forward with God. If you’re struggling in your relationship to God and wondering what is real, stop and take a look around you. Be still, and soak in the beauty of creation, listening for the voice of God. You’ll hear the invitation loud and clear to come on, and start afresh.
Lord, the profound and simple ways in which you speak move me. My heart is filled with gratitude. Amen.