September 16, 2018 Reflection
Acts 17:22-28/ Romans 8:35-39
Creation One with God
How many of you own a cell phone, also known as a mobile phone? It’s a mobile device, so the battery has to be charged before leaving home. I don’t know if those of you who use cell phones have ever noticed this, but sometimes the phone becomes very warm. Of course, it becomes warm if you use it for a long time, and it means the battery is being drained; but sometimes it becomes warm and the battery power drains when you’re not using it. Can you guess why it would use battery power when you’re not even using the phone? It’s because the machine is searching for a cell signal when it is weak. It’s quite amazing that this little machine does that. Cell phones are created to be used only in locations where there are cell towers and they can get cell signals; so, when they are far away from the signal, they drain energy searching for it. It’s kind of like sunflowers too. The English name of this flower is a bit ambiguous except that it makes us think this flower likes the sun. However, if you look at the French word for this flower, it gets easier to understand what this flower does; the French name for sunflower, tournesol, means ‘turning towards the sun.’ This is a flower that turns towards the sun. That was your little dose of trivia for this week about the cell phone and the sunflower.
When I think about these things, I wonder how earnestly we yearn for and turn towards our Creator. As Paul says while preaching in Athens in today’s text in the Acts of the Apostles, we are created to search for God. God created us and keeps sending out signals for us to search for God. My old theology professor calls it God’s heartbeat. People from all times and places searched for this signal (or heartbeat) and developed faith in God, according to their different cultures. Paul says, “In him we live and move and have our being.” We are created to live in union with our Creator; it is God’s creation order. Our parents created us to live in a loving relationship with them. We created our children, although I personally didn’t, to live in a loving and meaningful relationship with us. This is why children who don’t have a healthy relationship with their parents suffer all kinds of problems. It’s like our bodies are created to be nourished properly, so if we don’t eat properly, we can get sick. If we don’t follow the creation order, we get sick by making God’s creation sick. Remember from last Sunday? The eco-system, which is God’s creation order, teaches us that we are created to live interdependently; we either thrive together or decline together.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul describes the nature of our relationship with our Creator in the most lyrical and dramatical manner. When I read this text in Romans chapter 8, I picture a charismatic Pentecostal preacher; probably Paul was a charismatic preacher himself. Anyway, he says, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Then the audience is supposed to be filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit and yell, “Amen!” The point is that this speech in Romans attests to what Paul says in Athens; the fact that we are created to search for our Creator and that we live, move, and have our being in God our Creator. We are created to live in unity with our Creator; implying that if we don’t, the state of our soul suffers, just like our bodies suffer if we don’t eat properly.
We are in the Creation Time. Until Thanksgiving Sunday, we will keep meditating on being good stewards for all of God’s Creation. Today, we learned that we are created to live in union with our Creator. As Paul says in Acts chapter 17, “The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands.” God is everywhere in the Creation; God’s Spirit lives among us and in the beauty of our nature. The beauty of nature is not something we lack here in Kimberley (Thanks be to God). Therefore, this week, I urge you to go out in the nature, which is probably less than 5 minutes away from where you live, wherever you live in Kimberley. Go out to the nature, quietly experience God’s majesty, and meet with God. Also feel God’s love for us, for the beautiful nature was given to us as a manifestation of God’s love for us, as we are also created out of love. Go out into the nature and sing today’s Psalm; “Praise God, O my soul. Eternal God, you are great indeed. You spread the heavens like a tent; you lay out the beams of your dwelling on the waters above.” Let us go out and praise God by our creek and in our forests. This week, and during the rest of Creation Time, and during every day of our lives, let us meet God in nature, and let the Spirit guide us into being loving and caring stewards for God’s Creation. Let us tread God’s earth barefooted. Let us hug trees that give us oxygen and yummy fruits. Let God embrace us everywhere in nature and feel one with God and with all of God’s creation. And when we snap out of that euphoria and become rational beings once again, let us share ideas on how to be good stewards for God’s Creation and protect the earth.
Rev. Sunny Kim