By Robert Halsey Pine
“Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.” (Psalm 147 NRSV).
We expect a lot from God. He watches over us, He heals our broken hearts and His power and understanding is awesome. This psalm of praise to the Lord looks at all creation as well as what it takes to keep it going every day; from the numbers and names of the stars to the gentle rain for the green earth providing food for man and animals. The psalmist says, “…but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.”
All the thanks that God wants is for us to respect Him and accept His love. The price of thanks is to receive more blessings. Show me a lottery that can pay off like that. God created and creates everything. Creation is He and He is creation. He has given us the gift of life in His creation. He has given us minds to have a deeper understanding of His mystery, a mystery that is beyond fully knowing, but gives us a joy in swimming in its depths.
God sent us Jesus, His only Son, to bring us His Word in human form. The gospel of John so beautifully expresses God’s gift to us as it begins, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God (NRSV).” Jesus was with God from the beginning and Jesus was the Word, which was God. So the Word (Jesus) has come to us for our better understanding. For God has given us our minds and our ability to think. Otherwise, like the plants and the animals, we would not even be contemplating the mysteries of creation and our great gifts.
John goes on to say, “What has come into being with him [Jesus] was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” God has given us the ability to think and try to know Him and His ways. Since from Adam we went astray, He gave us the love gift of His Son, the Word, so that we might better understand Him. Man killed the Word, but God resurrected the Word as a promise of eternal life for us and His love and forgiveness of us. Praise the Lord, and thanks be to Him!
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.