In her book Grounded, theologian Diana Butler Bass writes about how church buildings are often upright and pointed at the top, like rocket ships aimed towards heaven. Our theology often matches – a faith that’s all about escaping this earth, getting away to somewhere better, somewhere ‘spiritual’.
That’s one view, but that can’t be our only understanding of God. As the verses we’ve shared this week show, the Bible talks about a God who is here. Paul writes about one God “who is over all and through all and in all.”
I think there are two important messages in that. First, the earth matters. It’s not a muddy prequel to a heaven that comes later. It’s where God is now, running all through it, as real as light or gravity. And that means that how we treat the earth and its creatures matters too. When nature is marginalised or silenced, a witness to God is silenced with it.
Secondly, it’s exciting news that God is here. Sure, God is far away at the same time, in the stars and out beyond the furthest reaches of space. But that doesn’t make God distant. We can also know the divine presence right here, right now.
So get out in the world. Look up at the stars, watch the clouds. Turn over rocks, climb trees, swim in the river.
And in all of it, may you discover the God who wants to be found.
Jeremy Williams is a writer, blogger, and founder of Earthbound Ventures, which finds new ways for people to connect with nature. If you need a regular dose of wonder, check them out.