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Beyond the Pulpit

June 2019

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, greetings to you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

With Memorial Day now past, Summer is officially upon us.  So, many of us are looking ahead to the height of the vacation season.  Vacation for many means travel, and spending time out of doors.  Whether at the lake, in the mountains, or somewhere beyond, we have before us this Summer the opportunity to enjoy the majesty and beauty of God’s Creation.

I was reminded of this recently, as I traveled south to the Wichita Mountains with a visiting member of my family.  This was not my first visit to the Wichitas, but I was once again awed by its uncommon beauty.  Truly, as the sage once stated, how can one look upon the beauty of Creation and not see the work of God?

I also remembered Psalm 24:1 plainly states, “the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,…” The point should be clear, the earth is a gift to us from God.  We are reminded in chapter one of Genesis that what God made is “very good.”

God’s creation is there for us to enjoy.  But let us not be confused by the charge to subdue the earth and have dominion over it (Genesis 1:28). This is not a license to abuse and destroy its beauty for the purpose of satisfying our self-styled “needs.”  We should understand this to be a charge to understand creation and develop an attitude that is reflective of God’s attitude.  God’s power and genius can be seen in creation.  Spending time in it, reflecting on the beauty the natural world God has created, we draw closer to God.

As Reformed Christians, we believe in the stewardship of the earth and its resources.  What God has given us in the creation of the world is our responsibility.  We use it, admire it, care for it, and preserve it for posterity, each in its own time and in balance with the others.  We must never shirk this duty, nor should we ever lose sight of how it points to the majesty of God.

So take some time to really pay attention to the genius of God’s creation, and allow yourself to be amazed and humbled by the way God has entrusted it to us.  Take the time to give thanks for all the amazing plants and animals God has created.  Marvel at their beauty and their strangeness.  Immerse yourself in your senses, see the colors, listen to the sounds, smell the scents, feel the textures, even take the time to taste, and be awed by what God has done.  In that moment, give thanks and pray for there it is often easier to talk with God and ponder his blessings.  God didn’t place us in a garden at the beginning for no reason.

Enjoy, the world is yours, and while you are at it, have a conversation with God.

May the peace and blessings of God, the joy of Jesus Christ, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit be with you all,  Mitch