The pervasive goodness of god in creation
Last Sunday we looked at the importance for our spiritual lives of knowing, understanding, recognizing and appreciating the Goodness of God.
Jesus' words to the ruler in Luke 18:19 'No one is good - except God alone' point to God as the ultimate source of all goodness. The word for goodness in this verse focuses more on the moral aspect of goodness. However the old testament word for goodness also includes aesthetic (beauty) and suitability ('good fit') aspects of goodness. Psalm 136 and Genesis 1 point to creation as one place where this broad goodness of God is revealed.
Many people find that being out in nature is good for the soul. I think this is because whether we recognize it or not we are in closer contact with God's goodness. Our inbuilt attraction to goodness, opens us to God.
It is important to remember that there are specific aspects of God's creation that we sometimes don't find to be good (often disasters etc.). However, these need to be put in context of the pervasive goodness of the broad sweep of the universe - its beauty, its suitability for life, and its moral goodness in being a creation which allows real choice, risk and consequences. Sometimes in the accute crisis we can lose site of the wider picture to our own detriment.
Here are four ways we can help keep sight of the pervasive goodness of creation:
Scriptures: read and meditate on scriptures that talk about the goodness of God in creation.
Songs: sing songs in church and in our cars that talk about the goodness of God.
Science: take an interest in the way the world works (doesn't have to be a degree, but could be).
Scenery: regularly get out into nature and think about the goodness of God while you are there.
photo credit: Early Spring via photopin (license)