‘For all things are yours.. and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.’ (1 corinth 3)
Throughout all our personality we are God’s, and since God has made our whole selves, there is great joy in realizing who is our Creator. This realization is to permeate every area and level of life. In appreciation of beauty, mountains, music, poetry, knowledge, people, science – even in the tang of an apple – God is there, to reflect the joy of His presence in the believer who will realize God’s purposes in all things.
PETE FLEMING in Through the Gates of Splendor
Have you ever thought about what it might have been like to be one of those shepherds? You’re there in the grassy (rocky??) fields, chilling out, maybe taking a snooze, when light and people (!) explode out of nowhere and fill up the night sky.
Seriously, take moment to let that sink in…
So, my freshman year of college I went on a camping trip to Big Sur with some fellow photo students. It was a pretty amazing trip all around, but I’ll never forget one night we took a late night hike to the beach. The moon was so big and bright out there you didn’t need a flashlight to see the way ahead. So my eyes did what I’m assuming eyes throughout all time have always done when there isn’t electricity – adjust to the darkness. Only when I would blink did I really see, for just a few seconds, how dark it really was around me.
As we wound down to the beach, it felt exhilarating and still and if you looked up, there were more stars than you knew what to do with. I remember looking up, hoping as I always do when I look up into the night sky, to find a shooting star or satellite streaking across the sky. Training my eye, I watched as I walked. Then a big one caught my eye and it began to fly across the sky and instead of going in a straight line it curved down and around and as it did it got bigger and bigger. Like fire. I really did get worried there for a second that it was a plane crashing down….but I realized it was much too high for that. My whole body and mind filled with wonder in those 5 or so seconds. Curious and scared and in awe. So small, too. Just a creature.
I tried a couple years ago to find a way of visualizing heaven coming down to earth. This (above) is what I came up with. Yeah, it’s a little scary. And VERY sci-fi. Which, honestly, is NOT what I was going for, but now that I think about it….isn’t anytime anything supernatural happens like this; giant stars, virgins getting pregnant, skies filling up with singing angels…pretty sci-fi? Now, I’m not about to dress up for a Comi-con or anything, but an appreciation for sci-fi and fantasy can be found deep in my bones – bred into me by a father who loved, read, and watched a lot of science fiction. I think there’s something about it that triggers that feeling in us that there is more than what we see and that big impossible things can happen and that maybe in the end we will triumph over evil.
And as cheesy as this might be to say…the truth of this season, the truth on the hillside of shepherds and sheep, is that science was no longer fiction or fantasy. But our wildest dreams and yearnings were being answered. In big and humble ways.