30th October 2023
Rev. Kristen J. Kleiman writes about
God's Amazing Miraculous Creation
Did you know that there are over 330 species of hummingbirds?
Or that between 2014 and 2015, 381 new species of plants and animals were found in the Amazon rainforest?
I certainly never knew before that the human body emits a tiny amount of light that's too weak for the human eye to see.
The world and its creatures are amazing.
I have been blessed to see some amazing places in my life: Bermuda, Alaska, the Galapagos Islands.
And I have been blessed through Instagram to see the amazing places others have been, like Glacier National Park and Yosemite.
Pretty universally, people agree that nature, creation is a marvellous, amazing thing full of varied and fascinating plants and creatures.
And for many people it stops there.
They enjoy their hikes through the woods.
They feel peaceful as they walk the beach or golf course.
They stop and pause to enjoy a monarch butterfly as it flits by.
For others, their love of creation, their awe of nature inspires them to be good stewards of this world: recycling, buying less, composting, and reusing items.
They plant trees and garden and work to lower their carbon footprint.
For people of faith, our joy in creation, our delight in all things bright and beautiful, all of this awe points us to something bigger, something more wondrous and majestic than the Grand Canyon or the Himalayas.
All of the grandeur of creation guides our eyes and our hearts to God, the Creator of the World.
All of this splendour stops us in our tracks.
The sunflower as it turns its face to follow the sun, the ant who can seemingly walk up walls, the aloe plant with its healing power, all of this splendour nurtures in us, awe, amazement, and praise for God.
Awe, amazement, and praise because all of this magnificence is something only God can do.
There are moments when we feel too beaten down to marvel at anything, and yet, as Max Lucado writes, "rather than panic, [we] can choose to praise."
Rather than panic, rather than despair, rather than give up or give in, we can 'lift up our eyes to the hills' as Psalm 121 says.
We can be inspired by the hills and trust that if God can make these fantastic hills as well as elephants and polar bears, giant redwood trees and forever growing banyan trees, if God has the power and ability to do all of that, then God can take care of whatever we are going through.
We can trust God. God's got the whole world in God's hands and that includes us.
When we lift our eyes to the hills, when we lift our eyes to the star-filled night sky, we might wonder 'what are human beings that God is mindful of us, that God could care for us?"
And that is where the psalms and nature remind us that it's not about us.
Nature and the psalms direct our attention to God.
Nature and the psalms show us who God is - magnificent and great, and also loving and kind.
When we might want to panic, worry, or fret, nature and the psalms remind us to trust, to praise, to give thanks, to sing to the Lord, and know that God is forever caring for us, forever creating us, forever renewing us.
And when life is good, when we are feeling pretty confident that we've got this, that we can do this, even then nature and the psalms remind us to stop, look up, look around, and give thanks.
The silliness of our pets, the sun dappling through the trees, the red rocks of the mountains, the crisp bite of an apple - all of this reminds us to praise God and give thanks that life is good, that we are healthy, that we are blessed to live in this wonderful, wonderful world, that we are blessed to be God's beloved creatures.
Be in awe of the Creator.
Be in awe that the One who made all of this,
made you, and loves you,
forever and always.
Bible references available on request
is a life-long member of the United Church of Christ and has felt called to ordained ministry in the local church since the age of 18.
She preaches and believes that there is a place for all people within the Christian community, a place for them to be nurtured body, mind, and soul and a place for them to share their God-given gifts.
Rev. Kristen J. Kleiman was called as the Pastor of The First Congregational Church UCC Bristol, CT
in the fall of 2008 and began her ministry here on January 1, 2009.
Previously, Kristen was the Associate Pastor at Wapping Community Church UCC in South Windsor, CT from 1999 through 2008.
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