There are things in our lives we tend to keep separate—like Jesus and nature.
We don’t do it on purpose…it just happens until we start to rethink it.
This Season is a great reminder of how Jesus and nature are indelibly linked together!
I’ve always loved verses in the Bible that talk about the interaction between nature and God.
So what does Jesus have to do with Nature?
One of my favorite Christmas carols is Joy to the World. The lyrics, written by Isaac Watts, were first published almost 300 years ago. He based them on Psalm 98 in the Bible, which says things like:
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth…Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof…Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord…”
Jesus Created Nature
According to Genesis (1:1), “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” How did He do it? “And God said…”
He spoke it into existence. In the Gospel of John in the New Testament, Jesus is called “The Word.”
John (1:1-3) says:
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him.”
Who is “the Word”? Verse 14 tells us: “So the Word became human and made His home among us.” It’s Jesus.
Colossians 1:15-16 reemphasizes it:
“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.”
Nature Displays Jesus’ Characteristics
Just as we can learn a lot about musicians and artists by studying their creations, we can learn a lot about Jesus by studying His creation.
FIRST, HIS CREATIVITY. Can you imagine the Mind that thought up all the different kinds of animals on the earth? The plant life? The sea life? The rocks and minerals? It’s a staggering amount of diversity and complexity. And yet so interdependent.
SECOND, HIS ORDERLINESS. “Each after its kind” whether plant life or animal life or people. An acorn always grows into an oak tree, never into a maple tree. A salmon egg always grows into a salmon, never into a trout or a zebra. Spring always follows winter, which always follows autumn, which always follows summer.
THIRD, HIS POWER. Water can wear away solid rock. Weather can destroy anything man can build. The energy the sun produces heats our planet from 93 million miles away.
FOURTH, HIS LOVE FOR BEAUTY. Birds with iridescent feathers and lovely songs. Butterflies with unique and detailed wing patterns. Flowers with wonderful aromas and eye- catching colors. Majestic mountains, lush rain forests, gushing waterfalls, sparkling gemstones.
We could go on, but you get the idea.
Nature Responds to Jesus’ Presence
Back to Joy to the World and Psalm 98…
The Bible has many references to nature interacting with God, especially in the Psalms:
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God; The skies display His craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4)
“Praise Him, O heaven and earth, the seas and all that move in them.” (Psalm 69:34)
Jesus Will Redeem Nature One Day
Verse 3 of Joy to the World concludes with this wonderful phrase: “He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.”
What’s the curse? The sins, sorrows and thorns referred to in the first half of the verse, which references Genesis 3—the curses released as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve.
Sin didn’t just bring judgement (the curse) on the people, but on the ground…on the earth.
Romans 8:20-21 says:
“Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”
While we’re waiting for and working towards that day, we can help “make His blessings flow far as the curse is found” by bringing the presence of Jesus into our everyday lives.
And we can make His blessings flow by taking care of the wonderful creation He made and will one day redeem. By tending it as His caretakers and enjoying it as His daughters and sons.
(All scriptures are from the New Living Translation, © Tyndale House Publishers)
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Sharon is the founder and publisher of Active Outdoor Women. She loves getting outside in beautiful places to hike, paddle, camp, snowshoe, ski, ride—and encouraging others to come along! Besides maintaining AOW and her other website, Twin Cities Outdoors, Sharon writes and designs websites, newsletters, blogs, emails, books and other marketing tools for clients.