He Speaks to Me Everywhere (7)
Does not wisdom cry out,
And understanding lift up her voice?
She takes her stand on the top of the high hill,
Beside the way, where the paths meet.
She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the entrance of the doors…Proverbs 8.1-3
Love in Triplets
For my memorial of the experience of meeting God in His glory in common wood sorrel, I wrote the following poem:
Love in Triplets
The Witness of the Common Wood Sorrel
The Father says, “I love you, child.”
But those by baser things beguiled
ignore the witness of things wild.
The Son extends His hands to say,
“I love you, child; come, walk My way.”
We nail His hands, then turn astray.
The Spirit, armed with saving grace,
“I love you!” says, right in your face
and takes your heart in His embrace.
So when that small, bright bloom you see –
that lure waved by the Deity –
then let those leaflets, one in three,
proclaim God’s love, unhurriedly.
I posted the poem, together with one of the pictures I took, on one of my nature apps. I’ve also published it in a book of poems, Bricks and Rungs. By doing so I was fulfilling the final step of the process of creational theology, serving as a docent of the glory of God, proclaiming His glory by whatever means are available.
Jesus Christ is the Wisdom of God. The voice of Wisdom, crying out in Proverbs 8 – in the streets, around the corners, at every crossroads, in all of creation – is the voice of the Word of God, even our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of creational theology is not complete until, spurred on and enlightened by our encounter with God, we proclaim the glory of Christ and His saving work to anyone and everyone who will listen. “This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done; Jesus who died will be satisfied…”
We are like docents in an art museum, ready to help anyone to have a better experience of what they’re viewing. We began this study by saying that, though God is speaking to us everywhere, few of us are listening. We are the voices of Wisdom to the people of our day, appointed by Christ to bear witness to Him. That includes, like Paul in Lystra, pointing out the witness to wisdom, beauty, goodness, truth, love, and glory that Christ has left in the creation around us.
Jonathan Edwards, the great Puritan preacher of the mid-18th century, used to go on sorties of creational theology. He’d get on his horse with little slips of paper in hand, as well as a pocket full of straight pins. Every time something in the creation spoke to him, he’d write it down on a piece of paper and pin it to his coat or hat. At times, he would return home from these retreats into the woods looking like he was covered with snow. Then he would head to his study to meditate on his observations, rather like we have been suggesting in this series. At last, one or more of his experiences with the glory of God in creation would find their way into Edwards’ sermons, where they would be used as illustrations to focus the minds of hearers on the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Edwards proclaimed the glory of God in creation, and so must we.
It’s all about Jesus
All revelation is from God – whether in creation or Scripture – and finds its ultimate meaning in Christ; He is the key to Scripture and the point toward which all creation moves. Our work of creational theology is finished when we have connected what God has shown us from the world with the finished work of Christ, His exalted reign in glory, or His imminent and final return. Thus the world and everything in it, which were called into being by the Word of God (Jn. 1.1-3), realizes its unique fulfillment by proclaiming the Wisdom of God, with the help of God’s people.
Christ the Wisdom of God calls to the hearts of men and women from every nook and cranny, every niche and corner, of the vast creation. Our task is to see for them what they cannot see for themselves, then to help them discover the One Who cries out to them from the things He has made.
Thus the work of creational theology moves from observation and association, through integration and meditation, to celebration and proclamation as a seamless cloth of glorious encounter with the living God. As He speaks to us everywhere, provoking us to wonder and worship, we go forth from His glory to bear witness to Him by every available means.
1. What outlets – social media, email, study group, etc. – are available to you for proclaiming the glory of God which you encounter in creation?
2. What is a docent? How is the Christian’s calling to the Kingdom and glory of God (1 Thess. 2.12) like that of a docent?
3. How can Christians encourage one another in the work of creational theology?
Next steps – Conversation: Talk with a few Christian friends about what you’re learning about creational theology. Why is it important that we practice this discipline?
This week’s study is available as a free PDF download by clicking here.
For a fuller study of the disciplines of creational theology, order the book, Consider the Lilies: A Plea for Creational Theology, from our online store (click here). The glory of God is always at hand, if we know how to discern, enter, and express it. Our booklet, Christians on the Front Lines of the Culture Wars, can help you learn to recognize the glory of God, and to glorify Him in even the most everyday details of your life. Order your copy by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.