Understand the creation, if you wish to know the Creator...
- Columbanus, Sermon 1 (Irish, 7th century)
On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
- Psalm 145.5
Celtic Christians learned about God from two "books" - the book of sacred Scripture, and the book of creation. They knew that God's splendor, majesty, and wonder were being revealed in the things He had made, and they determined to know Him there.
Trees, lakes, oceans, mountains, creatures great and small, all kinds of food, patterns of weather, the writings of their Christian forebears - even the lore and tales of their pagan Celtic ancestors: Celtic Christians saw the glory of God in all these. They took the time to learn about God from the things He had made, and their faith was stronger, deeper, and more transforming as a result.
Solomon wrote that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter. He has "concealed" or "hidden" His glory in every created thing. We can learn about God by studying the creation and learning its many hidden glories. Indeed, it is our duty and glory to do so (Eccl. 1.13; Prov. 25.2). A person who sees out of only one eye lacks the perception of depth and angle to see the fuller picture of whatever may be unfolding before him. So the person who studies God from only one of His two books will be deficient in His knowledge of the Lord - whom to know is eternal life (Jn. 17.3).
Understand the creation, if you wish to know the Creator. This is sound advice. Yes, it takes time, and we'll probably have to give some things up that we've become comfortable doing in order to make this kind of learning part of our own discipleship regimen. But the reward is certainly worth the effort: splendor, majesty, wonder, and very presence and glory of God Himself.
Here are two books, both by God. Won't you read them both?
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
Speaking of reading, we are today launching The Christian Literacy Campaign of The Fellowship of Ailbe. You can read about it in today's ReVision. We want your help, and we're serious about getting more believers to read God's Word and other excellent Christian resources. Send in your suggestions right away.
We still have a few spaces available for pastors to take advantage of the mentoring opportunities offered through The Fellowship. Grow your spiritual life, clarify and expand your ministry, sharpen your focus on building the church, and do it all from your own study via online webinars and telephone counseling. Check out the website, or write me for more information.
Check out our Member blogs - the new poem by Jess Slusher is a true gem! And leave a comment to encourage the Brothers.