Summary: Let us be like Christ Jesus and be transformed —in our hearts and minds — into the gloriousness of God; and let us reflect the light and love of God for all to see, so that those with veiled faces can see the glorious face of God in us, and desire that to
Ya know, sometimes it’s good for us to get out of our environment to see the glory of God, and to be even more thankful for all he’s done and given, for that which he is doing now, and forevermore will do for all of creation.
I have to say, going on vacation last weekend to Seattle refreshed my soul. It gave me the opportunity to experience God’s glory in new ways. The drive out, and home, was so beautiful. There was hardly a cloud in the sky the entire weekend — for the exception of a few wispy ones here-or-there.
As we drove west Friday, I marveled at the terrain. I was amazed at the seemingly endless, farm fields near Moses Lake, and the high desert from there on — one my daughter described as being like the Badlands of North and South Dakota. At First, at least to me, that area seemed dry, desolate, and somewhat ugly. However, the more I gazed out my window, I thought about the beauty of God’s creation in its vast landscape.
If that we’re enough, my wife pointed out the window as we climbed up and then down into the Columbia basin. She didn’t need to say anything, the landscape said it all. Then, my daugter spoke beautifully again, saying, “It’s like the Grand Canyon, Mom and Dad.” It’s like what she was saying was, “Look how God carved out the rock with this great and huge river.”
I continued to marvel as we rolled further west and into Cascades. I experienced the awe of God’s majesty and glory as we drove through Snoqualmie Pass — my spirit stirred with similar feeling, just like the first weekend we drove to Idaho from Minnesota. The towering rocks and the vast, green forests, that went on-and-one for as far as the eye could see, testify to the Glory of God. Then two hours later, we descended into Seattle, and saw before us the beginning of the Pacific Ocean by glimpsing the Puget Sound. The sight of the Sound transported my mind to twenty years ago when I sailed the oceans and looked out onto and endless horizon of blue water and amazing skies.
The whole weekend — all that we did, took in, and experienced — testified to God’s glory, and why I am so thankful to be called a child of God through his only Son, Jesus Christ. This morning, it is my hope and prayer that we transport our minds and hearts to a place of thankfulness, because God has sought us out and is making us into the gloriousness of Jesus Christ. So, with that, turn with me please in your bibles to Psalm 105:1–6. If you don’t have your bible with you, feel free to open the pew bible to p. 942.
THANKFULNESS AND PRAISE
You know, truly, this Psalm has a cyclical way about it. Way could start at the beginning or the end, or anywhere in the middle, and make our way back around again; and that’s kind of what I want to do this morning. Let’s start out by reading VV1-4. READ PSALM 105:1–4.
My earlier story is truly one of thanksgiving and praise to our God and creator. I am so thankful for the beautiful place he’s given us live and enjoy. No matter if we’re here in the rolling, Bitterroot mountains we call home, or in the prairie lands of the Midwest, in Appalachia, near the oceans, or anywhere in between, I think it’s so easy to marvel at the beauty of our planet, and how God created all this for our good pleasure.
I have to be honest though, I am often perplexed when I here folks say that our planet is just an insignificant accident of universe. What a sad thing to say — that such beauty, that such wonder, is insignificant. The sadness in this expression can easily lead people to believe that we too, as human beings are insignificant, just a mere accident of the universe; and if we’re insignificant, where’s the hope and joy? And if that’s true — which as Christians we don’t believe it is —how then can one explain love, forgiveness, and the beauty we sense with our full being.
No! This planet we call home is no accident; it’s not insignificant, and neither are you, or anybody else for that face. We all, and this universe we call home, are glorious, because the one who created us, is glorious. Like the Psalmist said, let us praise the name of the Lord.
You know, when we publically call upon God’s name by praising and thanking him; we’re making known among the nations what he has done; we’re telling of all his wonderful acts. And by testifying in this simple way, we help those who are seeking the face of God to see his glory — and that in itself is glorious.