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Laugh out loud at the wonder of it all

May 24, 2014

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.” John 6.28-29

Consider the flowers all around us. The wild ones in the hedgerows, those in the garden and those in displays that show them off to their best. The colours and textures, the scent and form have delighted us back into the mists of time.

Now, I’m no gardener my garden is tended but is far from manicured. I just don’t have the time. That said it is a garden bursting with life and colour. The apple and cherry trees have flooded the garden with waterfalls of colour and scent. They’re now finished but the roses and clematis and jasmine are now taking over; with the everlasting sweet peas getting ready for their turn.

For me all that life and beauty just screams of the exuberance of the creator God.

“{Beauty} is a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.” That was Kahil Gibran in his book, “The Prophet”. The beauty of God “is a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.” I couldn’t agree more.

Kahil and I are not alone, the Reformer Martin Luther said, “God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars” and John Calvin said, “The creation is quite like a spacious and splendid house, provided and filled with the most exquisite and the most abundant furnishings. Everything in it tells us of God.”

“Everything tells us of God.” I learn from the harsh and sad things of this world but today I am focussing on the beauty of flowers, and beauty and human creativity. I am celebrating with my creator God.

God has filled this world with so much beauty and in his generosity God as given me a share in it all. I can work with him to cultivate new wonders. God given creativity can work with the one who is Creativity to produce beautiful gardens with delights for months and months.

Then there is the creativity and skill that allows people to arrange flowers and greenery into wonderful artistic creations. I can appreciate it all but have no skill at all with anything like that.

“God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars” and, “Everything in it tells us of God.” So, it is absolutely right that our holy buildings are filled with flowers. In an ancient house of prayer, the walls drip with holiness. The prayers of the ages join with the fragrance and the colours to give us a foretaste of heaven.

But so many people cannot see the beauty of God in the beauty of this world.

Some people do not know God and so do not know who to ascribe this beauty to. I meet lots of people who feel the specialness of being in a garden, or the natural world, or of flowers or trees or whatever, … they feel but without a faith they are unable to name that ‘otherness’ that ‘specialness’ that lifts their spirits. They have experienced the Gospel written on the “trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars” but don’t know who to thank. These people are more than half way to there, they know the creator, they just don’t know his name. Just one more tiny step and they could know their creator as their Father, and intimate friend. They would know his Son, Jesus and the power of the Spirit in them, the same Spirit who has hovered over and in creation since the beginning of time.

Then there are those who are indifferent. They seem somehow immune to the Spirit in the beauty all around them. The know neither the Gospel written on paper nor the Gospel written in creation. When I meet such people I am saddened that somehow life has deadened them inside to the wonder all around. They can see the colour of the flowers and it does not reach their heart. The colour is seen but the vibrancy is not. They can smell the fragrance and only feel the tickle in their nose that makes them want to sneeze. It is these people that I fear for most. They seem cut off from any of the goodness of God. They are in the greatest need of a faith that will open their eyes; unlock their hearts and their senses so that they can really experience the wonder of life.

I pray that I will always feel this deep down inside so that as I leave my bed each morning I can dive into the wonder of creation. I pray the same for all of my fellow Christians. For those who know something of the unwritten Gospel in creation, I pray that their eyes may be opened a little more so that they may meet the creator, the Master Gardener. For those who know nothing of God I pray that their hearts may be set free from their prisons, that life can find a way in for at least a little time before the end of this life.

So, I need to listen to Jesus saying to me, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.” (John 6.28-29), and to the Reformer Martin Luther saying, “God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” I need to listen, believe, and laugh out loud at the wonder of it all.

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