Summer can be a time of respite for the busy DRE. There is work, to be sure—VBS to run, youth activities to coordinate, fall curricula to plan. But there is, too, a leisure about summer. The school year is over. Spring sacraments have been celebrated. In a job where Sabbath rest can come all too seldom, summer can be a sabbatical season.
God models for us, in the first creation story in Genesis, the rhythms of work and rest. In God’s good creation, we humans are given everything we need before we ever put our hands to the plow or the mill. We were made to enjoy the natural world, walking in peace and friendship with God (Genesis 3:8).
The fullness of creation beckons in the summertime. Days are long. Grass is green. The sun is high and hot. Trees are in full leaf for shade. Warm nights invite us to gaze at the stars. Our summer encounters with creation can serve both to enrich our own relationship with the Creator and to open us to new ways of bringing creation into our catechesis.
Finding God in the Big Things
Do you live near the ocean or the mountains? Are you near a zoo where you can observe rhinos or giraffes, or near a museum where you can see the remains of dinosaurs? Look at the sky and its vastness. The sky looks blue in the day, but beyond the blue is the blackness of space. The sun that keeps us alive is almost 93 million miles away—the perfect distance to sustain life on Earth. The night sky reveals stars whose light, when we see it, is centuries old. The heavens indeed declare the glory and greatness of God (Psalm 19:2)!
Meditate on the vastness of God’s creation. What do the big things speak to you about the nature and character of the One who has created them? What do you notice about yourself as you spend time with this facet of the Creator’s revelation in creation?
Finding God in the Small Things
A single leaf. A blade of grass. A fly or an ant. A grain of sand. What are the smallest created things you can think of and explore? However small, each one is made up of atoms—as are we. These atoms themselves are comprised of particles so mysterious that we are only beginning to learn how to think about them. The God who numbers the hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7) made it all.
Meditate on the intricacy of God’s creation. Who is this God who made and set in motion a self-renewing universe of matter for God’s Spirit and our souls to inhabit? What does God have to say to you?