Thursday, May 12, 2016

Creation's Plentiful Wonders

Our English language words and terms possess a wealth of meanings. One of the most difficult features of the English language is its multitude of vocabulary words. One example concerns words like create, creative, creation, and creationist. Let us consider the term creation. It could entail the action of production, or it could entail the physical result of production—all that exists. One meaning has an action verb, the act of creating, as its anchor. The other meaning has a noun, creation—something that exists—as its  focus. 

Departing from fascination or confusion about semantics, we contemplate the creation at this special time of year. After winter’s frigid harshness, we recognize the wonderful seasonal changes becoming manifest in our dynamic creation. Cautious not to overuse verses of Scripture as proof texts, just before drafting this post we encountered Psalm 33:5: “The earth is full of his unfailing love.” As we observe the environment of our surrounding creation we ask, “How is this verse and similar ones to be applied?” How does our earth environment, the creation, demonstrate the unfailing love of God?

During personal devotional moments, I observe the wonders of nature, especially during springtime seasonal renewal and offer praise to the Creator for the beauty of the leaf out phenomenon in late April or early May, the annual arrival of migrant birds from their winter habitat bringing back their unique songs, and even the renewed presence of insects with arrival of the first few warm days. In deeper moments of contemplation I consider what was happening in the root systems and inner bark of bare-branched trees during the winter’s sub-zero cold, what motivated some birds to migrate south while others remained for the midwestern winter, and how insects hiding in forest leaf debris over the harsh season were preserved to burst out in flight when warm spring days returned. Check a related past link on plant rebirth:

We are reminded of many cross references in Scripture some of which may apply. For instance, Psalm 33:5, declaring that “The earth is full of his unfailing love” may connect with I Timothy 6:17. In that epistle the Apostle Paul instructs Timothy to put (his) hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. We cross reference these verses in a personal paraphrase: Our earth manifests God’s unfailing love by providing us with everything for our enjoyment.

Teachers, parents, and pastors should encourage their clients to revel in God’s provision of “everything for their enjoyment.” At this writing the midwestern return of springtime is in full swing. Some may opt merely to enjoy the warm springtime sunshine and sustaining showers. As a former science classroom science instructor the temptation is strong to explain environmental events from a scientific perspective. Our Father has enabled understanding of the wonders of his created works through the means of scientific method. For this gift we give thanks.

Our points in this brief post fall under the category of modern natural theology which posits that we may support belief in the existence of God without reference to divine revelation such as Scripture. We cite the wonders of creation as reinforcement of our belief in the Creator and his actions in creating our world. Between our embrace of natural theology and scientific method we are enabled to identify many wonders of our natural world, including causes of seasonal changes and the explanation of chemical changes in living things as they descend, then re-emerge from winter’s harshness. In the past few hundred years we have been privileged to tap benefits of the scientific revolution. In the last century we have also seen a revival of interest in natural theology. Believers in the Creator of all things support their belief with both science and natural theology.