Seeing God’s Goodness

possum 736Today was Earth Stewardship Sunday in my denomination.  In our service this morning we sang songs related to Creation and I preached a message emphasizing the importance of being good stewards of Creation.  In my message I used a quotation from Thomas Aquinas that I’d like to share with you.  Speaking of the created order Aquinas said God “brought these things into being in order that His goodness might be communicated to creatures and be represented by them; and because His goodness could not be adequately represented by one creature alone the whole universe participates in the divine goodness more perfectly and represents it better than any single creature.”

I find this line of thought fascinating.  According to Aquinas, one reason we find such a variety in Creation is because it takes all that God has made to help us understand His divine goodness.  This gives value to everything that exists.  It also creates a mandate that we do everything we can to preserve all that God has made.  When we destroy Creation or cause plant and animal species to go extinct we actually eliminate ways we might have experienced God’s goodness otherwise.

Meister Eckhart once said “every creature is a word of God and a book about God.”  I believe this is true, even if I can’t tell you just what the baby possum I photographed last week (see above) says about the Creator.   Part of me wants to say it shows us that God has a sense of humor but really all I have to do is look in the mirror to be reminded of that.  I suspect if I just took the time to study possums, or spend more time with them, I could discern divine truths.  But that’s the problem, isn’t it?  It takes time and effort.  How many of us are willing to take the time to try and figure such things out?  If we could somehow remember that experiencing a greater comprehension of God’s goodness is at stake perhaps we would be more willing to put forth the effort.

God’s goodness is waiting to be seen in His Creation.  Are you looking?

–Chuck