Monday, August 1, 2022

Jubilant Fields: Helping Creation Worship

Have you seen a jubilant field?  

We don't often recognize fields as jubilant but I'm guessing we can all imagine what a jubilant field might look like.  I imagine that it is growing healthy, strong, tall, with lots of fruit.  I imagine it stretching to heaven, a vibrant green, and waving in a healthy breeze. 

What about forests, singing for joy?  

We often quote "the trees of the field will clap their hands."  We can imagine trees waving together in unison in a forest, even while individual leaves are clapping their hands.   

In Psalm 96: 11-13, we see this imagery and it reminds us that creation understands worship.  And just as importantly, we get to help creation worship.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth.
       He will judge the world in righteousness
            and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Isaiah 35:1-2 gives us even more imagery:

    1 The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

Wow!  The desert and parched land will be glad!  The wilderness will rejoice and blossom!  The crocus will burst into bloom and will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. 

As creation exuberantly and worshipfully responds to its Maker, we see God's exuberance as well:  an overabundance of seeds that are produced that will never germinate, leaves on trees that turn brilliant colors whether or not anyone sees them, species of fish hidden from sight deep in the ocean, flowers bursting in every field and place where no person is tending.  All of it is there to be enjoyed.  And it is part of a flourishing creation that worships God.  

Humans are called to help articulate creation's praise.  That's what we get to do through our daily work. We do it as we shape a tree into a chair or bed or violin.  We do it as we work in a field to produce food.  We do it as we take iron from rocks or copper from the hills and shape it into meaningful things to help people flourish (Deut. 8).  

But we remember Genesis 2:15 which says we WORK and CARE for creation.  We both serve and protect.  As you do both in this week, I pray that it will be an act of worship for you and that you in turn will see creation worshipping as well!

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