Witness the wonderment

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2018

By Fr. Jonathan J. Filkins

From the Book of Genesis, “In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth…and God saw everything he had made and behold, it was very good.”

These Scriptural words, and the ones between them, have echoed over the millennia in both the Judaic and Christian ethos of faith. They speak to God’s Creation of our world and of the many gifts provided for us. There is no ambiguity, as the Creation process is quite pragmatic and logical. God created light, then earth, then water, then beasts and other critters. Lastly, he created…us.

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Oh, the wonderment of it all! From the very air we breathe, to the oceans and their bounty, we have a wonderment. From the land, we receive much of our sustenance and beauty. Every portion of all that we know, have, or can conceive is founded in the cornerstone of faith contained in those early words of the Holy Bible.

We, as humankind may on occasion, and perhaps too frequently, lose the childlike wonderment of what surrounds us. We, as a consumer culture, are driven by the marketing desire for more “stuff” in our lives; while the very provender, if we are real believers, comes from a source other than ourselves.

Yet, in the accumulation comes not a deeper faith, but a deeper distraction from it. The worship becomes about the “things,” not to whom should be given the thanksgiving, honor and glory. Let us not forget our overstuffed closets, garages and the copious amounts paid to off-site storage facilities to keep still more “stuff.”

There is a common lament that we have become less than Godly, than times before. However, all of history shows us that there are many times rife with evil actions contrary to God’s commands. The great hordes and the decline of the Roman Empire, Attila the Hun, the Great Plagues, slavery, and the propensity of the all-too-frequent global conflicts confirm the point.

These times are not necessarily worse than before, but we are surely distracted by them. Whether it is a notorious figure, someone we know, or even within ourselves, these transgressions debase ourselves in the sight of God. We call it sin and it goes under many guises.

Consider our propensity to fall off of the narrow path. Reliably, it is because we are distracted from the direction we have been given by our Lord, Earthly distraction is the villain, but it is also the blessing, if taken in the proper context.

Our wonderment has to begin in the foundation of our own creation story, for it begins with ourselves and is unique to ourselves. And, here is the wonderment itself. We are each unique creatures; Godly creatures. This itself is an extraordinary wonderment. What is even more of a wonderment is that God watches over each of us, as his children.

What is called for, in this our long sin-filled world, is our return to the witness of the wonderment of it all. In our true witness, we begin to understand the many gifts given to us and the wonderment of, “Why?”