Sunday, June 17, 2018

My Father's World

Good Sunday evening. 

This is late. It is also brief. Here's the thing. I have one living grandparent. I spent the afternoon with him. My kids played hard with their cousins. It has been a most excellent day. I haven't spent much time behind my keyboard, thus the late & brief blog. 

I have just a few things to say. There's a lot I could tell you regarding my recent foray into house hunting, the new dining table I bought last week (yes, yes I did), & the fun things the kids & I have planned for the week ahead. I am opting to skip all that tonight.

In 1996 I was in the middle of being a teenager. Around that time, my parents decided it was best that our family worship with the Jackson Street church of Christ congregation. I had some nonsensical teenage feelings about all of this for a while, but they eventually passed. 

Tonight, on Father's Day, I sat beside my dad & listened to our preacher deliver what is one of my most favorite sermons ever. I don't know if I can explain why it is one of my favorite sermons right now as I think I am still processing it, but it occurs to me I was sitting with my parents tonight listening to a sermon delivered by a man who was not yet ten years old in 1996 when we began attending Jackson Street. 

So, good call, Dad. It's lovely to see strands of my life weave together so beautifully. Sorry for the teenage angst & drama.

And I know you're all wondering, so I'll briefly say that in his Sunday evening sermon, Travis, my preacher, discussed the process & purpose of creation in a novel way, at least novel to me. It was the loveliest explanation of nature, of God's creation, I have ever heard. He discussed why God rested on the seventh day, something I'd never given much thought to . . . because why would the God of the universe need to rest? Is it truly tiring to speak something into existence? 

He rested because He had completed His temple. This is His temple, & we are His idols, images of Him. As you likely know, we sinned. We soiled ourselves, & in the process we soiled His temple. The earth was literally cursed after Adam & Eve's fall. Still, nature sings His praises. Still, He loves us, & He loves His creation so much, so steadfastly, that all will eventually be made right. All

We're currently living in His cursed temple. Any reader of fiction has to appreciate why that gives me chills. Still, there is hope. We are in the middle of book two in the trilogy, but there is a third book. The hero who's seemingly disappeared will return; evil will be vanquished. There are reminders literally everywhere of what we once were & what we will be again. There is beauty & light & goodness amidst considerable pain & darkness & evil. The beauty we see now, the beauty we see in each other, in our kid's faces, in the sunset, in the continual rhythmic lap of the ocean, this is all a shadow of what is to come. Just as we are all decaying, so too is His lovely earth, His creation, but all will be made new. All

Travis mentioned the accuracy of the song "This is My Father's World." 

This is my Father’s world,
And to my list’ning ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world:
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world:
Oh, let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

We sang this at my grandfather's service over ten years ago. My grandfather adored nature; he would have enjoyed tonight's sermon. He has been on my mind lately because his bride, my grandmother, died two weeks ago. Her death feels like the last little piece of him slipping away, too. I hope that makes sense. I have been dwelling on decay & death lately. I suppose that is normal in the aftermath of a loved one's death, but my goodness, I needed to hear Travis's sermon tonight. 

So, Travis, if you're reading: I am sorry I cried & blubbered tonight when my intent was to thank you for the excellent sermon. There was a *lot* going on in my head & my heart. Thank you for the time & thought & prayer I know went into that sermon. 

A Happy Father's Day to all reading & especially to my father-in-law, to Trey, & to my own father, whose wise decisions are likely the reason I was seated where I was to hear Travis tonight. Way to go, 1996 Gordon. I love you.

I am richly blessed. 

He speaks to me everywhere. And He does. If you don't hear Him, you are not listening. Be still. Listen to Him. Go outside in the morning & listen to His creation wake to praise Him. Nature groans for Him at times. She knows the curse will be lifted; she has faith, & she is ready. Take a cue from her. 



  1. No apology necessary. Honestly, your opinion means a lot to me and I’m very pleased the lesson was so meaningful to you. Tonight’s lesson was intended to be the main thrust of this Sunday evening series. To me, it’s a wonderful thought that shapes my perspective in many ways. I was hoping it would be well received.

  2. And I really do love the words of that song. I wish I would have taken the time to read them, but I think the lesson went long enough.