This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. While that may not hold any significant meaning for you personally, for me, it also marks my 11th year as director of sustainability at the world’s leading Baptist university, Baylor University.
For those 11 years, we have not celebrated Earth Day once; instead, we celebrate what I call Creation Day. Though the celebrations share many of the same attributes, ours differs in that we focus on celebrating God the Creator, all that he has created and our role as stewards of his creation.
Even after all this time spent thinking about and exploring God as Creator, I still find myself discovering new revelations of what it means to be his created.
Honoring God as Creator
To quote one of our favorite hymns, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds his hands have made, see the stars, hear the rolling thunder, and witness his power on display, it takes my breath away.
He was there at the start, before the beginning of time. He’s there when the moonlight falls on the mountain lakes so clear. He’s there in the way the sunshine paints the evening sky.
Our God is an awesome God who reigns with wisdom, power and love. As he has been, he forever will be.
Job reminds us God the Creator is a Sovereign God. “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2, ESV).
God as sovereign has the power to do as he pleases. And what pleased him? To create. As Paul reminds us in Colossians, and as Eugene Peterson paraphrases in The Message: “He was supreme in the beginning and he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end, he is there,” (Colossians 1:18).
Honoring God Almighty
While we strive to be anxious for nothing, there is great comfort to be found in the One who is over and in everything.
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All creatures great and small, praise him. Allow the Psalms to guide us this day and during this time. “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created, and he established them for ever and ever; he issued a decree that will never pass away” (Psalm 148:5-6).
Paul reminds us we can take comfort in Christ because he “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created, things in heaven and earth, visible and invisible. … in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17).
In him all things hold together. All things.
Wherever you are today, whatever fear you face, remember: the waves and wind still know his name; let go and trust in him. He is the God of Creation. He is the Maker of heaven and Earth, and he is where our help comes from (Psalm 121).
Praise God for this indescribable gift. All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voices and sing. Praise him. Praise the God of creation. Alleluia!
For it is well.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In writing this article, Smith Getterman wove together phrases from the following hymns and praise songs: “How Great Thou Art,” “So Will I (100 Billion X)” by Hillsong, “God of Creation” by David Crowder Band, “Our God is an Awesome God,” “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” “All Creatures of God and Our King” and “It Is Well.” Getterman’s style is reminiscent of the Moravian Singstunde, a longstanding tradition in which stanzas of several hymns are sung together as a “sermon in song.” Examples can be heard and viewed here.
Smith Getterman lives and works in Waco, Texas. You can find him on Twitter @getterman or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is the director of sustainability for Baylor University. The views expressed are those solely of the author.