"... stop and consider God’s wonders." Job 37. 14
Yesterday I received collection of nature photographs. They included gorgeous vistas and creatures of different sizes and species. Each was stunning in its own right but what struck me was the cumulative impact: what an amazing world we inhabit. The sheer variety, colour, uniqueness, comedy, power and beauty of creation is breath-taking. Where did it all come from or, rather, from whom is it all coming?
There are at least two ways of understanding creation: one is that it came into being by chance and it continues to evolve by a process known as "natural selection", sometimes paraphrased as "survival of the fittest". Another interpretation is that it was conceived by a Being we refer to as "God", who continues to sustain it and without whom everything would disappear.
Whichever is our perspective, we are part of it. Humans do not hover in superiority above creation. That has been our problem. Through the governments we have elected or had imposed, successive generations have arrogated authority to exploit creation as if it were there for our use and enjoyment but external to our own existence. The sobering reality is that our true place is within creation so that, in our abuse of it, we are executing our own demise.
Scientific research reveals not only the wonders of creation but the intricate and infinitesimal connections which bind it all together, including us. Not many of us are professional scientists but we can all heed the injunction in the Book of Job quoted above: "stop and consider God's wonders". Doing that will transport us out of our self-obsession, off our treadmills, above the low horizon of our daily grind, towards a fresh appreciation of the extraordinary circumstances of the life and the home we share.
Most importantly it will remind us that we do not exist in a vacuum but in the loving embrace of an all-powerful creator who is also our merciful redeemer. Without God the future looks bleak. But through the lens of faith we may enjoy the brighter prospect of renewal - of ourselves and of creation (2 Corinthians 5. 17 and Revelation 21. 1). Hallelujah!