Splendor and Majesty

Read: Psalm 104

Last week I was blessed to stand at the edge of one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. At that moment I truly understood the Psalmist’s words when he says, “He stretches out the heavens like a tent.” It was both awesome and humbling to stand at the Grand Canyon and view it’s splendor and majesty.

I was also impressed by the many cultures I rubbed shoulders with there. As I walked the trail and did other things I noticed the variety of languages and countries that were represented at this National Park. A true reminder that God’s creation worldwide is a blessing for all of us to enjoy.

It took me back 20 some years ago when I was a visitor to Austria and Switzerland and I marveled at the splendor and majesty of God seen in the Alps of Europe. Sure, these awesome sights have changed and evolved over the many years, but they are still the work of our God, the Creator.

The reason I was in Arizona last week was for our church convention. As a part of this convention Mennonite Church USA passed a resolution about caring for God’s creation. It was a reminder that we are to do what we can, and are called to do, as God’s people in caring for what God has blessed us with.

Several articles of our confession of faith speak to this…
Article 5 on Creation and Divine Providence says, “We believe that the universe has been called into being as an expression of God’s love and sovereign freedom alone.”

Article 6 on The Creation and Calling of Human Beings says,
“Human beings have been made for relationship with God, to live in peace with each other, and to take care of the rest of creation.”

And Article 24 on The Reign of God says, “We believe that the church is called to live now according to the model of the future reign of God. Thus, we are given a foretaste of the kingdom that God will one day establish in full. The church is to be a spiritual, social, and economic reality, demonstrating now the justice, righteousness, love, and peace of the age to come.”

These beliefs are rooted in scriptures throughout the Bible if you want to take the time to read them. (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; Galatians 6:15; Colossians 1:20; Revelation 21:5; Isaiah 19:23-24; 2 Peter 3:13; And those are just a few.

As we sing “How Great Thou Art” and say, “O Lord, My God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made…” How can we not have a sense of responsibility to care for the things that we have been so blessed with.

I realize that seems overwhelming when we consider the size and expanse of the whole earth but really it can start with us and where we live. I maybe can’t care for the Grand Canyon National Park but I can take care of the things within my reach, and in turn make a difference for God’s creation as a whole.

Make it personal: So often when people hear of creation care or care of the environment they think in political terms. Let’s think of this in spiritual terms this week. Why are we called to care for God’s creation? What does that mean for us in our everyday lives? Allow the Holy Spirit to help you answer those questions and then follow God’s lead.

Have a great week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church