Seeing God in Nature

Fidelia Bridges, Irises Along the River. Provenance: O’Brien Art Galleries, Chicago, Illinois. Image source

As I was sifting through some old papers the other day, I came across a sermon my Dad wrote that my mother saved. My Dad has been gone almost 30 years now so finding this sermon written in his own hand was of course amazing for me, but I was struck by how meditative and reflective his style was as he created many mental pictures for his audience. Well I thought it deserved to see the light of day again and I hope you will enjoy:)

Who is God by Joe Clarkston

We are gathered here today to worship the living God. He has said “When there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) Therefore we can know that He is here with us today. We might ask where is he? Why can’t we see him? or touch him? These are all good and valid questions and my sermon today was prepared with the thought in mind of trying to help us better understand and see the answers to the questions asked above.

We, being mortal, cannot however fully comprehend the nature of the Immortal God of Heaven. We may come nearest to gaining knowledge of God by looking for Him in his own creation.

Wind

As we stand in a meadow of lush green grass and feel the gentle breeze upon our cheek, we hold out our hand and try to capture it, and then find we cannot do so. As we ponder, we are reminded of the terrible force that is sometimes wielded by the winds. If you have ever tried to stand against an 80 to 90 mph wind, or perhaps… witnessed the terrible destruction caused by tornadoes and hurricanes, we can know that this gentle breezes can become frightening.

Coming back to the moment at hand, we realize that we are being cooled by the breeze, and we think of the many useful purposes for the wind such as pollenating flowers and carrying seeds to propagate plant life. Realizing all these things, we may ask “is this God?” Then we know that He is not the Wind, but it is his handiwork.

Rain

While standing in the meadow, a spring shower begins to fall and very soon we become completely wet. I am reminded of some very hard rains that I have known in my lifetime. Great floodwaters that have washed away houses {such as] the storm of January 1969 when we saw what the effort of rain in large quantities can do to the lands. Therefore we are made aware of the very great force that can be exerted as rain falls on the face of the land. Then as I meditate upon the rain falling, I remember that flowers could not bloom and trees and grass could not bloom without spring and summer rains. Is this God? Is He present in the rain? We know that this is also his handiwork

Grass and Plants

Here we stand knee deep in green grass–We watch a very contented cow grazing upon the grass. We are then reminded that all plant life has been given to man to sustain life. The flowers that bloom are beautiful to behold, and the forest green are restful to the eye. Is God in the plants? But we know that these things are only our visual evidence that there is a God!

At this point his sermon notes becomes just an outline sketch of ideas:

Sunshine

Snow

God is Eternal

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God”

Psalm 90: 1-2

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