Sermons

Summary: Life has value because it is God’s creation. You have value not because of what you do, but because of who you belong to, because of who made you.

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Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

TREES

by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

THINK that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And what an amazing creation it is. This is one of those days when I wish I had a video system to show some of the wonders of God’s creation. The universe that God has made is full of incredible sights – stars beyond number just in our own galaxy, galaxies beyond number of all different types, spiral galaxies like our own, globular clusters, and elliptical. And each one of these galaxies have as many stars in them as sand on the seashore. There are gaseous nebulae, black holes, and novas. The pictures we have been able to take with the Hubble telescope and other advanced scopes are absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. In our own solar system, we have planets and moons that are small balls of rock, huge giants of gas, massive chunks of ice, asteroids and comets, meteors that happen to fall into our atmosphere and give brief dazzling displays of light. The universe has so many marvels that are beyond our imagination, so beautiful and magnificent that no human would have ever thought of making, but these wonders are not beyond the creative mind of God the Creator. And the universe itself is so vast that we have to measure its distances in light-years, the distance that light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles. And the universe itself is estimated to be tens of billions of light-years across. Try to imagine that.

And right here on earth, we have so many incredibly beautiful and mysterious natural wonders - Mountains and seashores, canyons and waterfalls. I’ve always wanted to see the eerie shimmering veils of the Aurora Borealis. I was able to see the majesty of the stars of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, spread across the vastness of the blackness of the night sky when I was in the jungles of Peru, but here we have lit up our night skies with so much artificial light that it masks so many of these nighttime wonders. Only the brightest stars of the heavens are visible to us now. We have a moon that produces tides and reflects the light of the sun, an atmosphere that provides our breath and refracts the sun’s light to produce gorgeous sunsets and sunrises. The heavens and the earth that God has created are fearfully and wonderfully made. He has given us a beauty that is beyond comprehension both on earth and in the heavens and He has given us an order in the universe that allows us to begin comprehending His creation. God’s universe truly is wonderfully made.

But the most mysterious, the most wonderful, and the most precious creation from God is life. From the simplest microscopic sized single cell bacteria to the 400 ft tall redwoods of California, from snakes that slither along the ground to the albatross that flies up to 9000 miles at a time, from birds that lay eggs to marsupials whose babies grow in a pouch, from bats that live in caves to strange creatures in the deep sea, God’s creation on earth includes an incredibly diverse array of various forms of life. It’s amazing to me that some people can believe that all of this came about by random, undirected chance.

God’s creation just screams out “I am here. I am powerful. And I want you to know me.” As Paul says in his letter to the Romans, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” The vastness and beauty of the universe and the sheer diversity of life that we see demonstrates God’s amazing power and majesty and His awesome creativity.

In recent years, astronomers have been finding planets circling around distant stars, hoping that they might find some that are similar to earth, that could support life as we know it here on earth. For decades, the skies have been scanned for radio signals to try to find some indication of intelligent life out there somewhere. I used to run a program on my computer that would download data from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project. The program would analyze the data and send the results back. As far as I know, they still haven’t found anyone out there. We seem to be alone in the universe. Okay, some people claim to have seen UFOs and even been abducted and had gruesome medical experiments performed on them. And there are lots of sci-fi movies about alien life, some friendly, like ET, but usually hostile like in the War of the Worlds, or Predator. We may not want to be alone, but it seems that the only life in the entire universe is right here.

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