“Grace for the Journey” took a break in May so as to come back revamped and ready with new material. You see, we had pretty much covered the means of grace, which is what this column was first designed to discuss. So where do we go from there? Well, now, I want us to look to the Scriptures to discover where God’s grace can be found there – sometimes as obvious as a bull in a china shop and sometimes as subtle as the smell of lilacs in the breeze. Where else to begin but at the beginning – Genesis 1, the first creation story.
This story is told with such repetition that we may find ourselves dozing off in the middle of it. That, however, is a sad commentary on our attention span, not on God’s creativity. When you allow yourself to savor each and every moment of creation as it is described in this chapter, you will discover that the whole of creation is an act of grace.
Creation begins with God’s decision to reveal God’s self: “Let there be light!” Now, since this takes place on Day 1 and God doesn’t bother to create the light-giving celestial bodies until Day 4, we believe that this Day 1 light is what is called God’s Shekinah. This is the Light of God’s Presence. It is the Light that we are unable to bear seeing. It is God’s revelation of God’s self to anyone and anything willing to receive it even though they cannot look directly at it.
What a grace that God should choose to reveal God’s very presence to the creation that God was getting ready to speak into existence! Before anything was made, God said: “Here I am! Just waiting for you to come to me.” If that doesn’t blow your socks off, nothing will. And you thought it was just a boring list of repetitions.
God’s grace is also found in the amazing diversity of creation. Have you ever wondered why God bothered to create the rest of the universe, stretching far beyond the stars of the Milky Way, long before we had any means available to see any of it? And yet this is where God began. Long before humanity was added to the creation, longer still before humanity had developed the technology to know it existed, God created “it.” And here’s more amazing grace: There’s a lot of it that we still don’t realize exists! And of what we do know, there is much that we don’t yet understand. It’s kind of like if soon-to-be-parents decided to build a multi-level, many-faceted Disney world sort of playground eight months before the child even arrives. God’s grace has given us a universe to explore with all kinds of amazing gifts to discover within it.
Even so, we don’t have to go that far to see God’s grace in this diverse creation. Look at a field of wildflowers. Have you ever seen such a palette of colors or smelled such a potpourri of aromas? God has created such beauty, such uniqueness, even such comedy. Yes, comedy! Only God could come up with the idea of a giraffe whose neck stretches to the treetops and of a duckbilled platypus that makes you giggle every time you see one. Or a penguin who has his own built-in tuxedo and the dolphin who seems to always have a smile on her face.
God’s grace comes shining through from the very first page of the Bible. And while we can read about it in the Bible, we do even better to experience it in the creation itself. When was the last time you literally stopped to smell the roses, or to look at a squirrel, or to gaze up at the night sky, or to take a walk in the woods? How long has it been since you have thanked God for the grace that comes to us in creation? Perhaps if we did a lot more of that, we’d discover that we actually do want to take better care of it. But that’s another story of God’s grace – how God called us to care for this amazing creation. We’ll look at that story next time.
Rev. Joyce Day
If you would like to view past editions of Grace for the Journey, follow this link: https://sounddistrictnc.org/category/grace-for-the-journey/