I was sitting on the back deck working on my laptop, constantly aware of the racket coming from the cedar bush beside me every time a mother or father bird, (it’s hard to tell them apart) came to feed the little ones in the nest. They were like a choir all singing “feed me, feed me.” And as soon as the feeding was over and the adult bird — if we can call them that — flew away, there would be complete silence. It’s almost as though the parents told the kids to keep quiet when we leave because there are cats around.
I had looked at the nest the day before and wondered how birds whose lives may only span two to four years know how to build those things. They’re nothing but twigs and spit of some kind I guess, but they tend to stand up to the best mother nature can throw at them on a stormy day.
Two days later I was back at my back-deck office and I heard a thunk beside me and there was one of the choir, taking its first steps into the world by dropping down on the deck. It looked so frail as it kept up its shrill call for the parents to now find it as it was no longer with its other brothers and sisters in the nest.
Some of the things we take for granted around us are worthy of more significant thought when we take a moment to consider the miracles that seem to be all around us.
Mom and Dad make a nest and then commit to feed the little ones until they can strike out on their own. The little ones take a leap into the unknown and immediately know that they can somehow gain some lift if they just begin to flap those new wings of theirs.
On a grander scale how do Monarch butterflies know to migrate the 4800 kilometers from Mexico to Canada every year? How do they know where they are going and what propels them? How do Grey whales know when it’s time to begin the long swim from Canada’s waters also to the south? That’s a 16,000-kilometer round trip.
I think sometimes all we are left with is “In the beginning God”. This wonder of DNA, this miracle of genetic learning that becomes inherent in each new generation, taking on the lessons learned by previous ones and then somehow, passing on the knowledge for others to just know what to do.
I wonder if we take the wonder of God’s creative plan for granted.
(Pam has just stuck her head out the back door as I am writing this to tell me that there’s a baby robin on the front deck. Maybe they are gathering to find out what I’m saying about them.)
As I was saying, perhaps we take the wonder of creation for granted.
The early Jewish scholars penned the story of creation in a manner to give God the ultimate glory. They didn’t try to go into the scientific evidence, they just wanted to make the statement that God is behind it all.
The Psalmists often spoke of creation being alive. In one of the Psalms we ascribe to David we read.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;Psalm 96: 11-12
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
Isaiah was thinking in a similar vein when he wrote:
You will go out in joyIsaiah 55: 12
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
(I know some of you can hear the melody that accompanies that chorus that we sing at College Ave. Just make sure you clap in the right spot.)
When the Pharisees told Jesus to tell His disciples to shut up, Jesus said that if they were quiet then even the stones would cry out in honour of Him. Luke 19:40
We may tend to see these as poetic license, giving inanimate objects human qualities or we may see God’s creation as brimming with energy, also awaiting the redemption of the world.
If this later idea appeals to you then you’re in sync with what Paul said in his book to the church in Rome when he declared the following.
“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”Romans 8: 20-22
Bruce Cockburn sings of creation basically humming under the feet of Jesus as he’s walking by. In his song entitled “Hills of Morning” he sings of the wonder of being even just a particle of God’s light. Near the end of this song he sings a line that has been suggested by many as another of his most quotable lyrics about the wisdom of the world.
If you haven’t already, go back and listen to this song and pick up the references to being a particle of God’s light, and his cryptic reference to those who don’t believe in tomorrow.
If you have heard it already, go back and listen again now that I’ve suggested what you should be listening for.
Being in a relationship with God is not an unusual experience. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes writes in Chapter 3, following those classic lines about there “being a time for everything under the heavens”, that “God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart”.
God has created the wonder of nature. God has placed the desire for us to know God in our hearts, and as Bruce says:
You can take the wisdom of this world and give it to the ones who think it all ends hereHills of Morning – Bruce Cockburn
And so, we thank you God for the wonder of creation that you have gifted to us. We’re sorry for the lack of love and care we have given it over the years. As we recognize this failure of ours, we pray for your guidance as we take on the roll to be not only lovers of nature but people who are willing to care for nature as well.
We thank you that we are able to enjoy a loving relationship with you as the joy of eternity rings in our hearts.