Manifest by footprints

Published 8:25 am Friday, September 4, 2009

“The Heavens are telling the glory of God, the dome proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1 NRSV)

Long ago, a Frenchman was crossing the desert with an Arab guide. Day after day, this guide would prostrate himself in prayer toward Mecca; many times on the burning hot sand. The Frenchman, an unbeliever, asked him one day, “How do you know that there is a God?”

The Arab guide answered by asking a question, “How do you know that a camel walked by our tent every evening?”

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The Frenchman replied, “Because of the footprints in the sand, I know a camel walked by our tent.”

The Arab guide began to point at the beautiful rays of the settings sun, brilliantly shining their colors. He finally said, “These rays are not the footprints of a camel, man or any living creature except God almighty.”

This world is filled with the footprints of God. They are manifest in every sunset, snowflake and tree. We learn in school how to view the world scientifically and critically. We learn that in dissecting each particle of objects and arguments we find the truth. The Bible, however, calls us to ponder and probe in a different manner. Not in mastery over something but in wonder and submission to something, namely God.

Our passage today states, “The heavens are telling the glory of God, the dome proclaims his handiwork.” We are called in this passage to ponder this message of God in this environment and universe that surrounds us. This same universe proclaims the love of God even when we ignore it or miss it.

There is another, more specific proclamation of God’s love that presents itself every Sunday. In the cross of Jesus, God reveals to us the supreme message of love. In the cross, God would rather die than to spend eternity without us. What good news this is!