There is something deep within us all making us want to look up into the sky and be overwhelmed by its beauty and majesty; especially when we come across a sky as magnificent as it was this evening.
I've just finished writing my sermon for tomorrow. I'm reflecting on Jesus' communication strategy. He often used the natural world around him to begin to teach truths about God and human beings.
For him it was knowledge of God first that allows us to begin to discover knowledge about ourselves. So when we look at a sky as magnificent and vast as this one, we are left to ponder about our own particular beauty and significance in creation. If we can see the beauty in a random sky ought we not also be able to uncover the beauty and grace that God has created within all of us a human beings.
Of couse this is the tragedy of the human condition. We seem to be able to straddle the magnificence of appreciating breath taking beauty while at the same time indulging in the most ugliest and henest of crimes which destroys beauty. It seems to me this is the nub of the human dilemma. We know we are broken inside, metaphorically speaking our software has a virus, but we don't know how to rid ourselves of its influence and damage. At the heart of the Christian gospel is a remedy for this condition. The remedy is found in a relationship that speaks of forgiveness and redemption. It is a relationship that invites us to gaze upon the glory of God and in doing so we become reflectors of that glory into our own broken lives but also into the lives of others around us.
At the heart of the glory of God is a cross. It is surely this story of the cross shaped life of God himself that inspires us to begin to see beauty and healing in the midst of pain and suffering.
In creating the world God has also taken into account the significance and the awfulness of sin, including its destructive death-wish on creation itself. The historical reality of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus points to a more significant spiritual reality; a reality that speaks of the defeat of evil and the breaking- in of the new creation that the resurrection points toward. A re-creation where beauty and grace will fill the earth and bring glory to God for ever. So let us not be afraid to live a cross shaped life, for in doing so we will encounter joy through our tears beauty through pain and discover the sky has hidden depths to reveal.