Nov 5 2014

Could Never Say Enough!

_CES3560In recent weeks I’ve been using John Philip Newell’s book, Celtic Treasure: Daily Scriptures and Prayer, as part of my morning devotion time.  I have found it to be quite helpful.  It offers wonderful aids for focusing on God and a part of each day’s reading includes Scripture passages that Newell has paraphrased and a prayer he has written.  In this morning’s reading I came across a passage I was not familiar with.  The reason I was not familiar with it is it was based on a couple of passages from the Book of Ecclesiasticus.  Ecclesiasticus, not to be confused with the Book of Ecclesiastes, is also known as the Wisdom of Sirach and is one of the writings found in the Apocrypha.  These are writings accepted as canonical by a large portion of Christianity but typically not by Protestants.  I actually have only one Bible that contains the Apocrypha and will confess that I’ve never read Ecclesiasticus in its entirety.  After reading some of the readings Newell has included in Celtic Treasure I want to.

_DSC7802This is the passage I read this morning and found so moving: “Bless the God of all who everywhere works great wonders and by whose will all things are made.  The shining stars are the beauty of the universe, a glittering array in the heights of God.  Look at the rainbow and praise the One who made it.  It stretches across the sky with its glorious arc.  By God’s command lightning flashes from heaven and thunder shakes the earth.  Cold snow blows from the north and the south brings summer breezes.  The sun’s heat scorches the wilderness and withers the grass like fire.  Wet mist hovers between the mountains and falling dews refresh the land.  The swelling sea is full of danger and strange creatures crawl forth from its depths.  By heaven’s word all things are created.  We could say more but could never say enough. Let the final word be, ‘God is in all things.’  So bless the God of all who everywhere works great wonders, who watches over our life from birth to death and deals with us mercifully.  May there be peace in our days and may there be gladness in our hearts.”

I love this passage because it is a beautiful reminder that God is the Creator of all that is and as such is to be blessed or praised.  It also challenges us not to forget that “God is in all things.”  I find especially interesting the words “We could say more but could never say enough.”  When it comes to declaring the majesty of the Creation and the even greater majesty of the Creator we truly could “never say enough!”

_DSC0890Every time I go out into nature I find something to marvel at.  There is always something new to discover, enjoy or learn.  I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how long I live this will always be the case.  The wonders, beauty and mysteries of nature are beyond my comprehension.  Even more so is the wonder, beauty and mystery of God.  I have committed my life to being a witness for this God and there is much I want to say to honor my Lord and the Maker of heaven and earth but in the end I have to agree with the wise writer of Ecclesiasticus, I could never say enough.  That, however, will not keep me from trying.  I hope it won’t stop you either.

–Chuck

(I took the top image at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the middle image at Yellowstone National Park, and the bottom image at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.)