A Place of Worship

RS-giant coreopsis-3

Recently, the pastor of our church did a series of sermons on worship that were quite valuable to me. He really looked closely at what worship is all about and what the Bible said about it. It made me think again about John Muir (one of Chuck’s heroes) who felt that nature (especially his favorite Yosemite Valley) offered a church experience better than any cathedral.

The pastor noted that worship is when we encounter God. Psalm 100:2 — “Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.” That is definitely what I feel when I am surrounded by God’s creation (though I don’t feel I have to go to Yosemite!).

He also shared that worship can happen at any place, on any day. Psalm 24:1 — “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” That passage also says something to me, that we should be a little concerned about how we treat the earth since it is the Lord’s and everything in it.

Our pastor’s sermon covered many other great points that would be too long to go into here. But I do think this passage also relates to being in nature and being close to God, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” If God ranges throughout the earth to strengthen those who are committed to him, then obviously God sees those of us in nature who are also committed to him to his creation.

The photo here is from a recent morning when I was driving up along the coast by the Santa Monica Mountains in Southern California. A morning fog (or low marine layer) was coming and going from the coast and the giant coreopsis were blooming. Stopping and photographing these funny looking plants in the fog was truly a joyful experience. Making the photograph, in a way, was my joyful noise unto the Lord.