4 Oct

The Joys of Creation

Photo: LWF/H. Putsman Penet
Photo: LWF/H. Putsman Penet

You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, giving drink to every wild animal; the wild asses quench their thirst.

By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches. From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart. The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. […]

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great. There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it. These all look to you to give them their food in due season; […]

When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground. May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works.

Ps 104

Reflection

The Bible uses a large variety of beautiful imagery to teach us God’s truths. Psalm 104 is a joyful poem expressing wonder at God’s work. Given the environmental catastrophes we have recently experienced, Psalm 104 is an important reminder of divine creation. The psalmist describes ways in which God grants God’s creatures habitats in which they can flourish. All of creation is interlinked: the streams in their valleys provide “drink to every wild animal” (v.11); the Lord “waters the mountains” so that the whole earth is satisfied; the birds nestle in their nests in “the cedars of Lebanon that he planted; the mountains are for the wild goats; the sea home to innumerable creatures; and wine gladdens the human heart which bread sustains.

As one who loves gardening, I am always in awe when a seed breaks open and turns first into a tender shoot and then into a fully grown plant. When watered and cared for, the tender buds turn into flowers and the flowers into fruits, which give one immense joy when harvested. For me, this simple yet miraculous process is a spiritual experience directly related to creation.

When was the last time that you stopped to appreciate the beauty around you? On a glorious sunny day, we oftentimes walk up the mountain and relish in the beauty of God’s landscape. It is liberating and reinvigorating. To commune with nature is to experience it as God made it for us. What a pleasure it is to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, to breathe in deeply and to take in the freshness of the air God offers to us. We take this for granted, but what a gift it is to feel the strong sense of connection between God and nature.

And how does it all happen? Our very being exists because of God. Every creature depends on God for sustainability. “In wisdom you have made them all” (v. 24). We can live in complete confidence, trusting in a God who orders everything perfectly. “They all look to you (v. 27) to give them food in due season. When you send your spirit, they are created. And you renew the face of the ground” (v. 30).

God rejoices in God’s work, as do we, humbly acknowledging that we are but stewards of God’s creation. Individually and collectively as a community, let us sing to the Lord to thank, protect, love and care for God’s wonderful gift of creation.

Prayer

Lord your hands have formed this world,

every part is shaped by you

Water tumbling over rocks, air and sunlight

Each day’s signs that you make all things new.
An Ikalahan song from the Philippines based on Psalm 24:1

Maryssa Janelle M. Camaddo is Director for Planning and Operations.

Season of Creation

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are those of the author, and not necessarily representative of Lutheran World Federation policy.