I stood there for a few moments, it was cold and the ground damp, however, I noticed the last of the autumn leaves clinging to the branches of two of the four ornamental pear trees in our backyard. I had just finished putting the green waste in the compost bin as I do each day. There was still a colourful display of green, gold, bronze and burgundy leaves. The other two pears had already shed their leaves. The Manchurian Pear in the back corner, the first to lose its leaves, always has an amazing display of colourful leaves each autumn.
The pause as I mentioned was brief however, I was acutely conscious of this cycle of life in the face of winter’s cold blast, but more than that I had a deep sense of the presence of God. He was gently whispering to me about His creation. It was a privilege to be assured by God, the Creator, of His presence in all and through all. I looked around and the bulbs in the bulb garden had begun sprouting healthy green shoots, daffodils, jonquils and hyacinth getting ready to display their colourful flowers. I turned to look at the Manchurian Pear again. It too was getting ready for spring, multitudes of buds all along its branches preparing to burst into a mass of white blossoms.
I let myself into the house through the back door pondering this brief outdoor experience of God. My pondering took me to Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase, in The Message, of Colossians 1:15-20,
We look at this Son (Jesus) and see God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels – everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together, like a head does a body.
He was supreme in the beginning and – leading the resurrection parade – he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood poured down from the cross.
And then Psalm 8 from the King James Version,
O LORD our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens…..When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained…
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him
a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!