Spiritual Connections – God of Creation (Nov 2021)

Nov 10, 2021

This month’s Spiritual Connections is from our General Presbyter, the Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo:
On Thursday night of this past week, we were awakened at 3AM by the sounds of our dog crying. Earlier in the night we had to put the “cone of shame” around her neck to prevent her from licking an infection during the night, and she was unhappy. As most people react when they must wake up in the middle of the night, we were frustrated. I sleepily took her outside for a few minutes, to try to get her to calm down, hoping for a respite and to be able to return to bed. I looked up at the sky and the first thought in my half-asleep, half-awake, mostly angry stupor was, “the moon looks weird.” A few minutes later I realized what I was looking at, the total lunar eclipse, already in progress. The stars were bright, the sky was crisp and clear, it was beautiful.

Now awake, I popped back outside every fifteen minutes or so for the next two hours, watching the changing sky. A few years ago, I was able to see the total solar eclipse as it passed by the Northeast. These are stunning events, awe-inspiring, mysterious and a reminder of what sort of Creation we are living in the midst of:

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honour. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! -Psalm 8
Despite my first reactions, I am now grateful the dog woke us up in the middle of the night last week and I got to see the eclipse. I’d been so busy that I missed all the news about it. Friends of mine who were paying attention set alarms and woke up in the middle of the night to see it. I had to be dragged out of bed by a crying dog to get my attention to this rare event. As I stood there looking at the night sky, I was reminded of just how small I am, just how small this world is and just how big and how beautiful the Universe is, all of it a gift from the God of Creation.

The thing that grounds me the most in my faith is being in Creation. Whether it is the beach or my garden, or a recent trip to the mountains – seeing the beauty of Creation always reminds me that we worship a God of love, of grace, of joy and of abundance. Like many of you, I am struggling these days with all that is going on. Covid-19 continues to bring death and destruction, and we have barely begun to mourn what has been lost. The trial and then full acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse is devastating in every way. The wastefulness and selfishness of world “leaders” at the COP26 a few weeks ago in Glasgow, Scotland is enraging. Their fecklessness and ignoring of the gift of Creation, putting greed and personal gains ahead of the futures of generations to come is cause for weeping and despair. So much conspires against God’s joyful abundance these days.

Our role, our call to be the Church in these times is clear. We are not just called to preach hope, but truth. To name evil when it arises, and to hold out the moral calling we cling to. Peace, justice, love of the Creation and all her creatures and people. If Jesus Christ is King, as we just celebrated yesterday, then he is King of all Creation. If Jesus Christ is King, he is also King of all salvation. If Jesus Christ is King, then he is also the Prince of Peace. What does the Lordship of Christ mean in your life? What does it compel you to do and to be? What does it say to the Church?

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