ESSAY-LIKE SUNDAY MORNING: Many churches do not have Sunday School on fifth Sunday. My church is one of those churches. I once researched the rationale behind this tradition and found no comprehensive explanation. It seems to have something to do with the tradition of the “Circuit Preachers” of the early Methodist Church.
However, there is a lesson in our Sunday School text for today. The lesson is entitled, GLOBAL APPLAUSE. The Scripture is from Psalm 148:1-14. The KEY VERSE was verse 5, which reads; “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created” (NIV).
The Scripture tells us that EVERYTHING in the Universe praises God the Creator, in one way or another. The only one of God’s creations which habitually has to be reminded, chided, even goaded into giving our Creator His due praise is, MAN/WOMAN. How about that? Arguably, the greatest of God’s creations, is the most RELUCTANT to give Him praise.
God is great, and greatly to be praised! Let me posit another of my “famous” examples of His greatness.
Isn’t it amazing how, your favorite set of drinking glasses seems to slowly dwindle in number over time until, alas, only one, two, or maybe even none of them remain?
The “usual suspects” are the children, but even adults have their share of accidents with the glasses.
Have you ever noticed that when one is accidentally knocked from the counter top and crashes to the floor, it shatters into many pieces of various sizes and shapes? These pieces then scatter all across the kitchen floor. Some end up under appliances, some in corners, some even skitter into other rooms. I’ve often found pieces from a broken glass, months after the accident.
Yes, it is indeed a tedious process to get all of the pieces up off of the floor. If only there was some “scientific” way that we could predict exactly how the glass would fracture and where each piece would end up—after smashing to the floor—clean-up would be A SMASH, wouldn’t it? But alas, no such science exists, or does it?
“Well actually” (my favorite phrase), there is a science that studies how glass breaks, it is called, “FRACTOLOGY” and is a branch of “FORENSIC SCIENCE”. Researchers from the; “University of California – Davis, Forensic Science Graduate Program” did a study that entailed the breaking of over 180 glass objects to observe the fracture patterns, but all this study could determine was that, there IS no predictability to how the glass will break, what patterns it will break into, or how the pieces will be positioned when they all come to rest on the floor.
This is the case in most ACCIDENTAL situations. The outcome is random and often, unpredictable.
As an EMS responder, I’ve been one of the first people to arrive on the scenes of several motor vehicle collisions. Many times, the mechanisms and circumstances of the accidents have been very similar, but the position of the vehicles, the locations of the various vehicles parts, and the condition of the patients has been completely dissimilar. The outcome, of the ACCIDENTS, has been predictably, RANDOM.
YET! With our Creator, NOTHING is RANDOM; there are NO ACCIDENTS; EVERYTHING is by DESIGN. In the verses studied in this lesson, the Psalmist calls on ALL of God’s creations to praise Him. He calls on: the angels, the sun and moon, the waters, the stars, the great sea creatures and all the ocean depths, lightning and hail, the snow and clouds, the wind, the mountains and the hills, trees, wild animals as well as domesticated ones, birds and US. ALL of HIS PERFECT CREATIONS.
One author states that there are three questions that we can ask ourselves when we look at the wonders of the earth and sky:
“Does a law explain it?
Does chance explain it?
Does design explain it?
A bullet firing when a gun’s trigger is pulled or getting at least one head when a coin is tossed a hundred times, are both high probability events due to natural law. Natural law explains it.
Rolling snake eyes with a pair of fair dice, or even winning a million-dollar lottery when considering how many tickets are sold, constitute events of intermediate probability that are justly relegated to chance. Chance explains it.
But let’s say the same person wins that lottery three times in a row. Suddenly we suspect that something more than chance is involved. There’s a design, a pattern to what it happening. Somebody knows the numbers and is tipping the person off (Ray Bohlin)”.
But God’s creations are consistent and repeatable. A horse is a horse, every time He creates one. He is that SOMEBODY who “knows the numbers”.
He spoke our creation into existence. He was that First Cause that set our world into motion. The creation now speaks to us of the Creator. In fact, the Creation is one of God’s great missionaries; it sings His praises and so should we.