Sunday, September 8, 2013

Creation One

What Is Creation Saying to Us?

Opening Quote:

God creates the universe and with it the possibility of being and relating.
God tends the universe, mending the broken and reconciling the estranged.
God enlivens the universe, guiding all things toward harmony with their Source.
Grateful for God’s loving action, we cannot keep from singing. (A Song of Faith)

Introduction of Theme

I have trouble falling asleep. I always have. My mind races a lot and I think of far too many things. One of the things that has really helped me is sound. Ali thinks it is crazy, but I play these background sounds of waves, campfire burning, crickets calling in the night, wolves howling the background…. And the combined music of these natural nighttime sounds shuts my mind down…

The sounds of nature are beautiful. I don’t know if you have ever sat on the seashore and listened to waves crashing, or been in a meadow when the grasshoppers are chirping, or listened to the leaves blowing through the poplars… but these sounds are relaxing, they just feel right, and beautiful….

For me it is a moment of harmony, it is the closest I feel to actually hearing God speak… All of these things that make up the world we live in are part of the dance, part of the song, part of the celebration that is life around us.

And today, as we return to the normal schedules of school and work, as we see the nights getting colder and the seasons begin to change, as we sample the jams and jellies, the beans and tomatoes from our gardens… today we are taking a moment out of all of that to listen to the whispers of God that are found all around us.

Exploring the Theme

What is your favourite sound?  Is it the birds singing in the morning as the sun comes up?
Is it the sound of a baby's laughter as they find amusement in life's simple things?
Is it raindrops on your window pane as you are snuggled up warm inside?

I thought about that a lot this week, and I have decided that my all time favourite has to be
the sound of the waves crashing against the shore.  When I find myself near the ocean,
I often sit for a very long time with my eyes closed just listening. I really find that it calms my soul.

Part of that is that the sound of water on rock reminds me home, of where I come from.
Part of it is the certainty that each wave that comes to shore will leave its mark with a sharp sound.

I really love how it is such a loud and powerful sound. It reminds me just how strong nature is.

It is also the type of sound that drowns out all other noise and lets me be alone with my thoughts.

Now, your favourite sound may be different, and I suspect it is. But I bet if you think about why you like that sound, you will find God there too. And, the neat thing is that, all of these sounds are a part of the song  that creation sings out into the world. Creation's song is a beautiful song that stirs the soul.

A Contemporary Reading

Muriel Strode – Creation Songs

I know the thrill of the grasses when the rain pours over them.
I know the trembling of the leaves when the winds sweep through them.
I know what the white clover felt as it held a drop of dew pressed close in its beauteousness.
I know the quivering of the fragrant petals at the touch of the pollen-legged bees.
I know what the stream said to the dipping willows, and what the moon said to the sweet lavender.
I know what the stars said when they came stealthily down and crept fondly into the tops of the trees.

Exploring the Theme

So, just what is Creation's song? Let me start at the beginning...

Since the beginning of time, creation has sung out in amazing ways. In the beginning, there was a deep dark nothingness. That is until... the Spirit of God swept over the void. Until the Spirit of God began the creative process that brought light, love and life to the world. And as the processes of science began to unfold, incredible creatures were birthed into being. And as each new creature appeared, it added a new note to the song of Creation.

Plants, animals, rocks, trees, water... all sang out and made their presence known. In quiet whispers, like the sound of tall grass swishing in the wind... in loud shouts,  like the sound of a flock of seagulls in a parking lot... all the creatures played the notes of this beautiful song.

Over the course of time, humans came to be... and we added our unique voice to the mix. Much of this is recorded in the Bible, where the people of Israel sang songs of joy when they were happy and dirges of sorrow when they were sad.

Moses sang out to God with hopefulness in his voice while Miriam played her tambourine with pure joy and thanksgiving for what God had done. The Psalmist spoke words of poetry to the Lord, sometimes happy, sometimes sad. Jesus sang songs to pass the time with his friends and he wept, offering a different kind of tune, when he faced the reality of death. Angels sang out in visions and ordinary folk sang out in worship.

So it is that we came to join the song that we still hear all around us every day. Every time we hear the loud clap of thunder in a lightning storm, we know that our all-powerful, all-knowing God is present with us. When we sit by a quiet stream and listen to the murmur of the water, we know that the nurturing God of love is beside us. In the cry of the lone wolf, in the moan of the whale song, God is there.

It's through Creation's song that we hear the very voice of God. We only ever get to hear bits and pieces of the song, a verse there, a refrain here, but what we have access to is magnificent.
Can you imagine if we heard the full song together? I'm sure that its beautiful harmonies would dazzle our ears.

Concluding our Theme

And here we are - you and me. We have our own notes to sing; our own part to play in this grand symphony.

Paul in the letter to the Ephesians tell us to let the Spirit fill us up until we can't help but want to sing, until we make melody to God with all of our hearts, until all we want to do is make our gratitude known to the world for all we have and who we are.

The prophet Isaiah tells us to Sing for joy!  Break forth into singing! Or, as it says in the Message Translation of the Bible, "Heavens, raise the roof! Earth, wake the dead! Mountains, send up cheers!" God is here for us.

These biblical writers aren't just encouraging us to hum a little humble tune to ourselves. The language they use implies a certain confidence in our singing out proudly about God's love for us.

Sometimes we literally sing. Our lips move and hymns of praise come out or we we whistle a happy tune. But the "singing out" can also be done in the way we live our lives, in how we show God to others through who we are and what we do.

Nevertheless, I think when we become those people, who feel so moved by God's presence
in the universe and in our lives that we cannot stop from singing, then our world becomes a very different place.

So, sing out, play your instruments, make a joyful noise today! Do not be afraid to praise God and to really feel that presence in your entire body.

During the season of Creation, this is the song that we celebrate. This is the song that we sing.
Let all things now living, lift their voices in thankful praise.

No comments: