A Framework for Faith/Spiritual Disciplines
...for the species of visible things draws the thinking soul toward the cognition of things invisible.
- Eriugena, Homily on John 1.1-14 (Irish, 9th century)
Then he said to them, "Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. " When they heard it, they marveled.
- Matthew 22.21, 22
The people marveled at Jesus' teaching about the coin because it never occurred to them that there might exist some connection between everyday, mundane reality and profound spiritual truths.
Jesus was forever making such comparisons. That's because He saw all reality as of a piece, the product of His Father's will and the servant of His eternal purposes. Because God created everything, and because His Word upholds it all, it is reasonable to discover numerous connections between the "visible things" all around us and the "things invisible" which also happen to be all around us.
But it takes a thinking soul to make such connections. Someone like Jesus. Jesus saw spiritual wonder and divine truth in all created things. The people whose eyes He opened to such truths marveled and were amazed: Of course! Why have I never seen this before!
A thinking soul does not take the steadfast love and faithfulness of God for granted. Rather, it learns to look carefully at even the most ordinary objects or situations, in order to discover what God has "hidden" there concerning Himself (Prov. 25.2). We can know a good deal about God by observing the created world - His wisdom, beauty, power, goodness, and more. But unless we cultivate such a mindset and practice the disciplines of creational theology, we'll always remain something less than the kind of thinking souls God intends for us to be.
If we love God, we will love His creation, and we'll see in it all kinds of intimations and evidences of His handiwork and presence. Then perhaps we, too, will marvel at the greatness of our God and of His steadfast love and faithfulness.
Look around you right now, right where you are. Something is speaking to you of God's glory.
Don't miss it.