The Whole World Is Charged With The Glory of God
On this Second Monday of Lent I'm holed up in the back of a coffee shop on a cold, dreary March morning. I kind of needed this moment. And I don't mind the cold and dreary all that much either.
There are signs of Spring all around--despite the cold, grey sky and the chilling drizzle. The bursts of green leaves on trees that had been bare just a couple of weeks ago tell are witnesses to the fact that this grey moment won't last forever.
Reading Thomas Merton, the great mystic and contemplative, has taught me what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote:
"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..." (Romans 1:20)
Merton believed that Creation not only reveals God's "handiwork" as the Psalmist wrote, Creation also reveals God's ultimate purposes. The rhythm of dying and rising in nature speaks to the way God goes about redeeming, restoring and resurrecting what was lost, broken and left for dead.
After experiencing the transformation of Creation during the change of seasons, Merton wrote:
By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.
The truth about our Christian faith is that it's grounded in the endless rhythm of dying and rising. God has embedded the very truth of the Resurrection into the DNA of the Universe. We are constantly being confronted with the fact that the cold, grey of death doesn't last forever, and that new life is on the way.
Flannery O'Connor once wrote that the "central Christian mystery" was that the world "for all its horror" has been "found by God to be worth dying for."
On this cold, grey, dismal day I take no small comfort in God's great love, and God's ultimate, beautiful and mysterious way to rescue us all from brokenness and death.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.