21 Feb not just spectators
Some of my most magnificent moments have been while witnessing the amazing beauty of God’s creation: hiking Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona, taking in the vista from Angel’s Landing in Utah’s Zion National Park and gazing over the waterfalls of En-gedi in Israel. What made those views so breath-taking was a keen awareness that I was tasting the fruit of God’s glory and creative labor. If all I ever did was travel the world to view all of Earth’s glorious beauty it would be spectacular…but not enough.
C.S. Lewis delivered a powerful insight in his famous sermon, The Weight of Glory: “Our desire is not only to SEE glory, but also to participate in the glory we see.” That truth was first unfolded in the Creation accounts of Genesis 1 and 2. God made humans in his own image, then instructed and empowered them to subdue the earth and govern it (Genesis 1:28, ESV, NLT).
The Hebrew word translated “subdue” conveys the idea that Adam and Eve were to use the earth’s resources for their own benefit. God placed rich supplies at their disposal and charged them to develop the earth to its full potential. Agriculture and animal husbandry, then construction and craftsmanship, led to even more discoveries. Scholarship and human ingenuity built (and continue to develop) cities, new modes of transportation and unique expressions of musical, artistic and cultural beauty across the nations.
Ages later, God still enables and empowers us to bring glory to him by using our God-given skills to participate in tasks he created for us to do. “For we are his worksmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) Maybe you provide protection to businesses by using insurance strategies and tools. You may construct or provide places for people to make a home or operate a business. Some of you use your skills to produce inspiring music or write illuminating books. Others connect peiople to products that help them flourish, by using your marketing and sales skills.
We call this “being productive,” but it carries a much larger meaning than just being busy. This week, let us do our different kinds of work with out eyes on our Creator, knowing that we are participating and contrinbuting to the spectacular display of His glory in the world. “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:31)
Serving Him with you in the marketplace,
Lord, thank you for reminding me that I am part of a world so much bigger than myself. I am not only able to bask in the glory and beauty of your creation but have also been invited to be a participant and contributor in your kingdom. So, today as I work through my list of action items in the projects you have given me to participate in, expand my vision to recognize your larger purposes. Somehow, despite the fallenness of our world and economy, you are giving me a way to make a difference, even in the midst of brokenness. I praise you, God. Amen.
“We know that producing good from the earth is fundamentally good in itself because it is part of the purpose for which God put us on earth.” Wayne Grudem, Business for the Glory of God
ADDITIONAL REFLECTIONS: Beginning with the End in Mind