For God so loved the world… John 3:16
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16
The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works. Psalm 104:31
As a child I remember being introduced to some of the great questions and answers of life Christianity addresses. I didn’t grow up in a liturgical church, so we didn’t have fancy terms like “catechism” for what we were learning, but my parents were wise enough to know we have a great gift in being able to look these issues straight in the eye.
Since we did come from the Wesleyan stream of Anglicanism, the very first question particularly struck a chord in my heart:
Q. 1. What is the chief and highest end of man?
A. Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him for ever. ~Westminster Larger Catechism
“Enjoy” him? As a girl, even though I knew Jesus loved me, most of my experience with God-stuff had been on the boring or stressful side. “Do this,” “Don’t do that,” “Be nice!” Sit still and shut your eyes when you pray.
When I read that a reward Jesus promised his people was that:
“him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out:” Revelation 3:12
I was, frankly, horrified. Being stuck in a church forever with no chance to explore?!!! That sounded more like purgatory than heaven.
Of course, as I’ve grown up, I can see more of what Jesus is talking about and it’s been a long, long time since I was bored in church. But it is still a bit of a mind reset when I remember “enjoy” and “God” should be strung together in my heart—never to be separated.
Where Creation Comes In
One of the things anyone contemplating any branch of science constantly bumps up against is awe. Wonder, fascination, delight, incredulity, and being absolutely blown away are experiences science always brings with it.
The level of intricacy, design, planning, and brilliant execution of both the living and mineral world completely staggers anyone willing to see.
Being a Christian gives us a person to honor for this work.
Being a Christian gives us a reason why this Genius would take the trouble to pour such care into his creation.
We Start with the Bible
First and foremost, God is a God of love, and love must be demonstrated by showering it upon the object of that love. His grace comes only to those who deserve punishment, and the demonstration of His love and grace and mercy stands without parallel among humans. ~John D. Morris ICR
As 1 John says, “God is love,” and we find this most clearly stated for us in his revealed Word.
The Most Beautiful Lens to View Nature
Once we’ve established God’s very nature is love, it becomes a simple matter of watching for its effects to recognize this “signature” throughout his creation.
What would love look like?
This list will be subjective and I’m sure you can come up with more examples, but here are some of the facets of creation that make me think of God’s love:
- Features perfectly suited for a niche environment
- Colors, from minerals to suns to feathers that delight the eyes
- A DNA code so simple yet complex it can store a whole library in a nucleus and read forwards, backwards, and folded
- Affection of animals for each other and humans
- Attention to detail—from neutrinos to leaf patterns to the shading of fur on a kitten
- Variety: the sheer vastness of species and even minerals speaks to a Creator who delights in creating
- Climates: the wind and water cycles fill even our broken world with a wealth of conditions for all manner of life and human culture
Bringing great beauty from great trauma
It never ceases to amaze me how God used the tragedy and horror of the Flood and its aftermath to shape most of the great scenic landscapes on earth. Even more than this, the very change in climate that left the Grand Canyon a desert, allows us to still witness its austere beauty. Relatively few people visit or have even heard of the similar canyon in Pennsylvania where forests have buried the rock layers in green life.
Sometimes it is love that leaves the marks of pain behind to expose his beauty and grace.
Jesus Our Brother
The highest expression of love God demonstrated by causing Jesus, the 2nd person of the Godhead, to become our real human kinsman redeemer. It is a theological and supernatural miracle, yet, if he had lived at a time when DNA testing was possible, we could have seen his close kinship with David’s line just like we can with his Jewish brothers today.
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things,… But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 1 Peter 1:18-20
These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Psalm 104:27-28