Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Very Much Alive

By Kristen Leigh Evensen
"Is it dead?"
I stood gazing up at the massive oak tree in my parents backyard. Unlike the other trees blooming and flowering around it, this one looked bare and utterly dormant at first glance. My father approached it, and gently pulled down a branch, examining it with his keen forestry-bent focus.

"This tree may look dead on the outside, but it's very much alive on the inside," he responded. He proceeded to show me how to test the vivacity of a tree by scraping along a branch to reveal the color beneath the bark. Bright green. Very much alive.

It is simply amazing that God had the Gospel in mind even at the creation of the world. As spring reveals its colorful glory in the blooming flowers, budding trees and chirping birds, we see but a glimpse of what God intended at the beginning, when all was perfect and untarnished by sin.

All of creation is a Gospel proclamation.

When the seasons are considered, or perhaps the life cycle of a tree, one quickly realizes the incredible detail involved. Did you know that, when summer turns to fall, a tree releases abscisic acid in anticipation of the new season? The acid stops nutrients and water from entering the leaves, so they will dry up and no more will be produced. Then the tree stores all its vital goods deeply into the ground, in its life-sustaining roots. And when spring comes again, the nutrients are released. Very much alive!

In gazing at creation and all its wonder, it is clear that God wished to reflect in it Himself and His wondrous, unique plan of salvation for mankind.

Here are three ways in which all of creation is a Gospel proclamation:

ONE: Creation reflects the glory and power of God. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made (Romans 1). God shows us Himself through everything around us. Therefore, we can know that He is ever-present, always working and full of glory and power.

TWO: Creation reflects the power of grace. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12). The dormant trees and flowers, the southward flight of the birds and the cold of winter--all demonstrate the power and grace of God when they are brought back to life come spring. Their physical lack is a purposeful metaphor for our need of the sufficiency of Christ.

THREE: Creation reflects the love of Christ. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge (Psalm 19).The fact that God even provided us with creation as a means to knowing Him shows us His love. He alone is the one, true God who is knowable. And He sent His Son to complete the process of knowing Him by sending Christ to the cross.

Creator God, How majestic are your ways in all the earth! We thank you for how powerful and beautiful you have made all creation. Thank you that it reflects Your character and Your purposes in redeeming the world. Open our eyes to see Your amazing plans through creation today.

Amen.

What do you most love about creation? 

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