I’ve been attempting to pray the daily office with Thomas Merton’s book, A Book Of Hours. Rochelle gave it to me at Christmas. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my life in no way is arranged to pray the hours. So I’ve been doing what I can when I can.
This past Sunday morning after I did final sermon edits, I sat down with Merton and read these words: “The most wonderful moment of the day is that when creation in its innocence asks permission to “be” once again, as it did on the first morning that ever was.”
This struck me for a lot of reasons, the least of which was the fact that at that moment the dawn was just breaking, the sun beginning to rise. These words reminded me of the complete dependency of creation on the will of her Creator — myself included. I was humbled again by humankind’s feeble, immature and useless attempts to reduce God into something quantifiable; something that we can control and/or master. People have tried to control God with doctrine, particular denominational practices, oppressive congregational authority, and any number of hurtful ways. Yet God defies these attempts. How silly to imagine that any of our hermeneutical or theological systems could contain the very God from whom permission to exist must come.
Perhaps when the Scriptures remind us that creation sings the glory of God there is a not-so-subtle reminder for us that God is simply too grand, too big for us to manage or manipulate. After all, most of us cannot manage our lawns, much less the God of creation. And, perhaps, in the face of all our prideful blubbering, boasting, and grasping for power, influence and control, we too, should rejoice in God that He has given us breath and “permission to be once again.”
Footnote: For those of you checking back to read my review of Edward Fudge’s upcoming commentary on the book of Hebrews, the publisher has asked that the review be held so that it will coincide with the release of the book. This is standard. I the same thing when asked to review Dear Church: Letters From a Disillusioned Generation and The Voice: New Testament. As the publication date draws near, I will post the review, as well as an interview with Mr. Fudge regarding the commentary.