Beholding the majestic creation, ancient Chinese exclaimed: “Heaven (Tian) and Earth proceed in the most admirable way, but they say nothing about them” (天地有大美而不言). It strikingly echoes the words of the Hebrew poet in Psalm 19:1–4:
“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.”
Long before the arrival of Christ, the creation had already inspired humanity with its beauty and splendor. In Christian tradition, the Catholic faith has always elevated the creation in its sacramental theology. Pope Francis said, “Creation is of the order of love. God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things.” Amongst the Protestant Reformers, Martin Luther claimed that “God writes the gospel, not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.” John Calvin described the creation as God’s theater where his glory is on full display. We, the people of God—the church, are the orchestra performing a divine drama with the creation. Beyond cultures and times, the universe speaks volumes of beauty and majesty held by Love in silence.
This poem is an invitation to live out the promise of Jesus: to “have life” and “have it abundantly” (John 10:10). The apostles testified how all are made alive in and with Christ (1 Corinthians 15:22; Ephesians 2:5). The abundant life is also expounded by the early church father Irenaeus, who famously declared “Gloria Dei, homo vivens: the glory of God is a human being fully alive.” This vision of being fully alive is born out of communing with God and the creation—the very means of transformation—from a stale, religious, and mundane world to an open, glorious, and blazing universe where the presence of God shines in all its fullness.
It is the encounter with God that lifts our veils to see and feel the organic and dynamic universe with all of our senses. We are awakened and attuned with the universe that resonates with the sound, fragrance, and power of God’s creativity. Then our hearts may be in sync with the heartbeat of God, and we are able to receive the outpouring of divine love and creativity through creation. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We are not merely stewards of creation, as “creation care” proclaims. Christian theology of creation invites a broader vision, to have relationships with the created things and live with them interdependently in dialogue and communion. The missio dei, as manifested through the Christ event, extends not only to humans but also encompasses the entire world—all of creation (John 3:16).
Let creation minister to us in this reciprocal relationship—being and communing with each other— so that we may worship without ceasing and love without reservation, becoming fully alive and glorifying God in full embodiment.
if you still your heart
to hear the tales of ocean waves
if you lay your ear on a seashell
to learn the dance on a distant shore
if you open your eyes
and pay attention
to tiny stamens
if you sensitize your nose
moods of rainforests
if you breathe in deeply
and caress gumtrees
if you lengthen your antennae
and receive outpourings of
divine love and beauty
every part of you
Image credit: 4k Wallpapers.
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