The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (From the Introit for the Fourth Sunday in Advent)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. I live in an area that is not affected by light pollution. One of the great joys I have is looking up at the night sky. On a cold January evening, when the days are short, it is easy to see the Milky Way. Science estimates that between 100 and 400 billion stars hang in our little corner of the night sky. They also want to date the birth of the Milky Way back millions or even billions of years.
The psalmist writes “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” So, which is it? Millions and billions of years or “and God said” on the fourth day? If you have ever thrown a pot, or built a birdhouse, or created anything, you know the created does not rule the creator. The clay does not say to the potter, “I prefer two handles, not one.” The creator creates and the created receives. The hands of the potter form and shape and fire, and the pot receives its shape and purpose.
Since the fall of man, we the created have been giving orders to the Creator. Not six 24-hour days but millions and billions of years! When the created mimics the role of creator, the created will always be empty and unfulfilled. That is why created mankind, who refuses to live under the reign of the Creator God, continually pushes for change. They seek purpose, security, and independence from the eternal enemy of death.
Looking up at the Milky Way, or at the majesty of a mountain waterfall clearly shows us that there is a creator. Looking at the way God dealt with Adam and Eve after they sought to be like Him shows us His mercy. He did not give them what they deserved. He gave them a promise. He gave them, and us, a Savior. Looking at the Cross of Jesus we see our benevolent and gracious Creator offering His only begotten Son as the total and complete payment for our sin.
The Creator creates. He speaks creation into existence. He speaks words of forgiveness and peace to you through the blood of the perfect sacrifice, His Son. We, the created, receive. We live in His peace and promise. We have joy and purpose as we declare His glory and care for His First Article Gifts. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Voices raised to You we offer; Tune them, God, for songs of praise. Hearts and hands we bring in tribute For Your gifts through all our days. Alleluia! Alleluia! Triune God, to You we sing! (“Voices Raised to You We Offer” LSB 795, st.1)
–Rev. Randy Sturzenbecher is pastor of Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church, Black Hawk, SD. He is also the vice president of Higher Things.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch