Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Gift of Nature

Genesis 1:1-2 Read it yourself

In the beginning God...

He was there before the beginning. In order for there to be a beginning God had to be there. Without God being there in the beginning the beginning would have never happened. Proponents of the Big Bang theory talk about how the universe was once compressed down to a point of singularity. Then it blew up into everything we can observe. They propose that you don't need God for this theory. What they overlook is that there was a singularity. If there was a singularity then there already was something created, which means it isn't the beginning.

... created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Here we have a beginning, we have heavens and earth, without form, without substance, without light. When I think of water I think of liquidity, I think of Brownian motion, I think of Chaos theory which attempts to create formulas to calculate outside of the boundaries of linear equations. Liquid is the densest form of matter. In the beginning we have God creating the heavens and the earth and they are formless, empty, and dark, perhaps not unlike the singularity described by the theorists.

The Spirit of God hovered. Above and separate from. The universe is not divine or part of God. God is not nature. Nature is not God. Nature is, as Saint Francis of Assisi said, our sister, not our mother. This is a significant point of differentiation of Christianity from modern, semi-pagan, secularism which places man as an usurper to the throne of Mother nature. The secularists would make man subservient to the needs of nature. Christianity defines mankind as a conservator, a steward. We ought to care for nature because that is the divine injunction given to man.

You will not find God in Nature, but you certainly can observe his handiwork. An artist takes media and provides his or her creativity and inspiration to produce something that expresses to others what the artist is experiencing within. Nature is Gods expression to us. A place where we live. The beauty of Nature is given to us as a gift. Beauty without a beholder is meaningless. Beauty expresses value and worth. Saint Francis, an artist with words, was moved by his observation of nature to write the Canticle of the Creatures in 1225

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing,
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.
Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.
- Saint Francis of Assisi

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