Last week, during the prayers in church, the phrase, “Creation, in all its glory” was used. You’ve probably heard it before. I certainly had. And it does strike a chord, doesn’t it? This week, I’ve noticed the tulips growing, the daffs are keeping pace, and the snowdrops are peeking out from the soil. As I write, the wind is whipping up a gale (not quite literally) as a sort of reminder of the power of creation. Every week, my gorgeous boys are growing and developing (despite their reluctance to sleep, but that’s another story). We’re having a haircut tonight to keep one element of growth in check! I adore the seasons, and how they speak of an order and a rhythm to life. Creation is truly stunning. On a large scale, and on an absolutely minute scale, creation is marvellous.
So when I hear someone in church thanking God for, “Creation, in all its glory”, my first response is to nod sagely (at least in my head, if not actually with my head). But when I heard it last week, something pinged in my little mind.
Creation absolutely isn’t in all its glory.
And thinking about it, there are two parts to this claim. First, although creation was created glorious, the Bible makes it quite clear that the world we’re living in at the moment is not ‘creation, in all its glory’. No, we live in a fallen world. Frankly, we don’t need the Bible to tell us the world isn’t perfect. It’s messed up, broken, put out of joint. However you choose to describe it, it certainly isn’t ‘in all its glory’. But the Bible does tell us why. And the Bible also tells us that restoration and re-creation is coming.
I don’t know about you, but I like creation. Flowers? Intricate, fragrant, varied. Love ’em. Trees? Majestic, colourful, fruitful. Stunning. And mountains. Oh, I miss the mountains. Proper mountains, not the little humps we get here in England. Sometimes I ache for the smell of the pines, the granduer of the scene and the mist creeping in through the windows. But show me a part of creation that you love, that you find awe-inspiring, and then imagine it being better. Because however glorious you think it is, know that it isn’t ‘all’ its glory. The best is yet to come.
And the other part of the problem with saying ‘creation in all its glory’ is that, fundamentally, it’s not creation that should be taking the credit. That bud waiting to explode into new life, heralding spring. It’s great, but it’s a clue. That glacier, inching its way down a mountain side, it’s powerful, but it’s just a pointer. That first cry of a baby being born? A signpost. A shimmering fish skitting his way through a coral reef is like a signature. Creation is a beacon. It doesn’t deserve any more credit than a painting. The artist should receive the adulation, not the artwork. The architect and builders should receive praise, not the building. Creation doesn’t deserve our awe – the creator does.
Over to you:
What’s your favourite bit of creation?
Do you think there’s a particular aspect of God’s character that this reflects?