The Heavens Declare His Glory

This week we saw an incredible and rare cosmic event.  The solar eclipse fascinated so many, there were traffic jams on the way to the path of totality. I know some of you were among those who travelled, and others, like Christiane and I, just stepped outside to experience this phenomenon on Monday.

Before going outside at 3:14pm, Detroit’s peak eclipse time, Christiane and I watched some of NASA’s live stream of the different cities along the path of the total eclipse. As we kept working and doing other things, we couldn’t help but notice when the background noise suddenly turned into this loud exclamation of awe. As we watched different people in different cities had similar reactions, we wondered how we are created to react to something bigger than ourselves. One scientist started to cry, while another was cheering at the top of her lungs, along with hundreds of others around her.

Many described the experience as a spiritual one. Almost everyone reported on the sense of unity and connection they felt with those around them, and even those afar. As people perceived that millions of people were watching the same event, it made them feel a sense of belonging. Others talked about their amazement on how this special event affected nature. The drop in temperature, the animals behaving as if it was night… One news commentator, after witnessing the total eclipse, said:  “It’s so amazing to see science in action like this.”

I respect his comment, but truly hope he has a bigger perspective than that. The thing is: science becomes increasingly more meaningful in the context of God’s creation. When you stand in front of a Monet masterpiece, and all you can comment on is the combination of paint color and brush stroke, you miss the genius of its creator. We find the same to be true of what we witnessed on Monday. We don’t see science and God in conflict at all. We appreciate all the scientific work done to improve our lives and explain our world. We see cosmic and all other natural events, animals, and people under the beauty, genius, power, and goodness of the Creator of all things.

“The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

Ps. 19:1

“Through him all things were made;

without him nothing was made that has been made.”  

John 1:3

That’s why the closer we walk with God, the greater is our awe of all things. Our own Charlotte McKenzie said she was hesitant to post her video of the eclipse on social media because she realized, after watching it, she was loudly praising God the whole time. This week, I was also blessed to receive a text from our Deacon Frank with a picture of a beautiful sunset over Traverse Bay, in which he said: “There is true beauty in His Creation”.

This is why we want everyone to know our God and his beauty. A student of art takes time learning what makes a Monet or a Van Gogh such an exquisite piece of art. We have God’s ‘brush strokes’ in us, as well as in everyone and everything around us. On top of being an expression of His glory, we carry in us the ability to “display His splendor” (Isa 61:3), to show forth His love and beauty to others, and to help them do the same.

We are called to spend time with Him, so we can learn more about His ‘work of art’ in us and all around us. That’s how we walk in awe and gratitude, spreading His peace and love, and participating with Him in the creation of extraordinary ‘ordinary’ moments.

Christiane and I pray that moments like the one we experienced on Monday can help all of us to become more aware of His beauty and majesty in our everyday lives. May the people, who described the eclipse as a spiritual experience, find the Way, the Truth, and the Life behind all that beauty.

The heavens declare His glory! May we all, as his creation, do the same!

We encourage you to meditate on the greatness and glory of God, which has been made available to us. No natural event can outshine the Cross, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord! So, let’s live out our calling. Take time to focus our attention on Him, and see more of the amazing event of being transformed in His likeness day by day.

May His Light (which happens to be much brighter than the Sun!) shine through all of us, and may nothing ‘eclipse’ that.

Blessings and peace,

Rev. Todd and Dr. Christiane