Since we are coming to the end of spring and the beginning of summer, I
thought we’d take a look at the role of creation and nature in our
spiritual lives and Christian formation.
Paul writes, in Rom 8:19, that ‘the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.’ What does that mean? One of the things it means is that creation and nature itself is waiting with
us to deepen our relationship to God. Nature is a vehicle for us to
experience God and see and hear life in new and healing ways. We can
sometimes feel alone in this world, but in looking at the above scripture, we see we have a companion in this longing.
In his book, Nature As Spiritual Practice, Steven Chase writes of the
need to practice contemplative listening. We listen to nature with no agenda at all. When we do this, we find our lives reflected in what we hear and see. We sense a peace from God and a place just to be, without the distractions and demands of this modern world.
Chase says that when we do that, we should ‘turn [our] hunger for a
deepening relationship with God ... toward nature. In doing so, [we] find that creation shares exactly the same hunger.’ (p. xxiii) So, as Paul says, we wait with nature eagerly; that is, with expectation. When
we participate with nature in its waiting, God can speak to our listening, and reveal herself to our looking in ways that bring us life, calmness, and spiritual healing.
Remember the words from psalm 24: The earth is the Lord’s and all that
is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers. This is also echoed by Paul in 1Cor 10:26. If the earth and those who live in it belong to God,
will we not find God in his creation? The Holy Spirit works through all that God has made to bring us into closer connection with the Divine.
I’ll mention one more scripture for your reflection. In Rev 22:2 we read that, ‘On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of
the tree are for the healing of the nations.’
If this is God’s intention, the question for us as Christians is how are we caring for, and protecting God’s creation and world, and all who dwell in it?
My prayer and practice is that you find God in new and surprising ways in nature as you walk your path this summer.
JUST A SUMMER WALK
IN THE PARK
Pastor Scott meets Pastor Dave Wehrle
on the walking/biking path
in the park
Family is a great blessing from God!
Pastor Scott and his beloved sister, Sharon
Who Is Our Pastor?
Pastor Scott Griffith, a lover of M&Ms, is the son of Paul and Trudy Griffith. He was raised in New City, New York. After graduating from Summit High School in 1982, Rev. Griffith attended Kean University where he earned his undergraduate degree and a dual certification in music and elementary education.
In 1994 he was called into ministry by the Diamond Hill United Methodist Church in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, where he had been serving as Music Director. After serving for five years there, he was appointed to a two-point charge in Kearny, New Jersey. Before coming to Arcola United Methodist Church here in Paramus, Rev. Griffith was serving as a full time pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. Currently, Rev. Griffith is taking graduate courses at Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC and is also serving Arcola as a full time Pastor.
Pastor Scott serves Arcola by singing in the choir, sitting in on all meetings and getting involved with the youth. Among Rev. Griffith's interests are reading, collecting coins and listening to music.
Won't you come and be a part of our ministry? Our service starts at 10:00am with fellowship to follow.