Holy week is upon us. A time of deep reflection. What I would like to do this week is to share with you part of my talk/sharing I did last night at Hillside. To say I was nervous is an understatement.

It is a journey with Jesus through the Hymn, How Great Thou Art; from creation back to the “sky”. As another famous Hymn “Lord, I Lift Your Name On High” goes:

You came from heaven to earth, to show the way,
From the earth to the cross, my dept to pay,
From the cross to the grave,
From the grave to the sky,
Lord, I lift Your Name on high

The talk was broken into four sections, a section for each verse and I thought that I would share it with you over 2 weeks. A lot longer than normal but I hope and pray that you will journey with us.

The first part of our journey starts, funnily enough, at the beginning,  verse one of How Great Thou Art. Creation, the Majesty and Splendor of God.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the works Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars; I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed. 
This verse made me think…Can we really consider all the works Gods hands have made? Can our minds comprehend the vastness of the universe, of God creation? I read the other day of a little ritual observed by Franklin D Roosevelt and a famous naturalist William Beebe. After an evening’s chat the two men would go outside and look upwards at the night sky. Gazing at the stars they would find the lower left-hand of the constellation of Pegasus. One of them would recite these words: “That is the spiral galaxy of Andromeda. It is as large as the Milky Way. It is one hundred million galaxies. It is 750,000 light years away. It consists of one hundred billion suns, each larger than our sun” .    They would then pause and Roosevelt would add; “Now I think we feel small enough. Let us go to bed”.
 Just last week the black hole in space was photographed for the first time with a mass of 6.5-billion times the mass of the sun. I can’t even try to imagine that.
I just love the way that Psalmist puts it in Psalm 19:1-4: 
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they have no words; no sound is heard from them. 
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world”
Is that not what God is telling us through His creation? Go out and preach and only if necessary talk?
Jesus had done all the talking that was necessary in the Temple during the week BUT did not talk much when questioned by the Chief Priests,
Elders and Pilate. Let our deeds and actions reflect God’s glory as we march towards Calvary, the cross,
the resurrection and the promise of a new beginning.

The second part of our journey, verse 2, takes us on a personal trip along with Jesus’ walk on earth.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Just to share a crazy thought that I had when thinking about Jesus starting His earthly journey…
I wonder if He had to report back to His Father on how great His creation really was. Remember in Genesis, everything God created was good. 
God said 6 times in chapter 1 that He “saw that it was good” In fact on the 6th day in verse 31 he says; “God saw all that He had made and it was very good”

Let me ask you a question? Have you got a space in Gods great creation where God appears closer to you than anywhere else? Can one place be more or less sacred than another? What do you think? Jesus seemed to love the Lakes and the mountains. He often retreated into the mountains for solitude, to be with His Father and pray.

Jesus told His Disciples that after His death they would be able to worship Him in spirit and truth anywhere not just in the Temple in Jerusalem. Remember what happened after the crucifixion:  The curtain of the Temple that separated man from God was ripped in two. I am sure that Jesus’ words then came flooding back to the Disciples.   We know we cannot confine Jesus to one place. The stone could not keep Him in the tomb and the walls of the Upper Room could not keep out.   Where is your place of sanctuary? Is it in the mountains or the garden or on the shore of a lake like Jesus or is it on the beach with the sound of the waves in your ears, in a humble chapel or a magnificent cathedral, in Nobel School hall or at HillBrews.   Because of Calvary God’s divine presence can be felt anywhere. Anywhere you have an encounter with God is a sacred space.

Saunders Davies puts in words that which echoes my feelings:

Creation is translucent; it lets through glimpses of the glory of God.


When you next sing this verse think of where you feel closest to God. At this time the CROSS is where Jesus is closest.

Let’s pray: Please God be our guide as we journey towards the Cross. Please God hold us in Your outstretched arms and never ever let us go. Amen

Next week we will take the second part of the journey:

“From the cross to the grave,
From the grave to the sky,
Lord, I lift Your Name on high”.

God bless ~Lyn &Colin

Inspired by:  Bible study by John Birch. Max Lucado, my favorite author. How Great Thou Art by Carl Gustav Boberg. Lyn my beloved wife and watched over by my Redeemer.



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