the Spirit in Creation – nature and spirituality (1/5)

carlise-beavertail-canoe-paddle-lWhen we think about our spiritual lives – when we think about our relationship with God – each one of us will have special moments that stand out for us. Each of us will be able to think back to particular moments when we felt a special closeness to God. Moments when we were particularly aware of God’s love; moments when we were particularly aware of Jesus’ voice calling us; moments when we were particularly aware of the Spirit’s gracious moving in our hearts and lives.

I’d like to begin this morning by describing one of these moments that I have experienced.

I was on a retreat with a group of students from Regent College, more than 15 years ago. This retreat was taking place on Galiano Island, which is one of the Gulf Islands just off of Vancouver Island. And as a part of this retreat, a small group of us rowed from Galiano Island over to uninhabited Wallace Island. The rowboat we used was actually a replica of an 18th century Spanish boat. As you may know, the first European explorers around Vancouver Island were Spanish, and so this replica rowboat was a reflection of that European heritage.

In any case, about twelve of us rowed over to uninhabited Wallace Island. And when we got out of the boat, our professor sen each of us to find our own place on the island to sit and to pray and be silent and reflect. So I walked some ways through the thin forest and found a little spot looking westward out over the water. About 8 feet down below my feet there was the shifting and wavy salt water. I could see blue starfish clinging to the rocks under the waves. Up above me it was a sunny, near cloudless day. There was a breeze blowing in from the open channel that I was looking out over. Continue reading


Soundboards and Spinach

spinachsounding board








I offered the following reflection at our Jazz Vespers this past weekend. I have borrowed heavily for this from Jeremy Begbie’s book Resounding Truth.


In his wonderful book Resounding Truth, Christian theologian and musician Jeremy Begbie reminds us that within the Christian tradition the world is not the product of chance or random forces. The world is not self-created, but comes forth at the personal initiative of God. There are, he says, two important things we must see about God’s act of creation as it is understood within Christianty.  

First God’s act of creation is an act of freedom. There is nothing which forces or compels God to create the world. There is nothing that requires God to call into being that which is other than God. God speaks a creative word in the narratives of Genesis – let there be. And God speaks that creative word out of his own freedom and initiative. At his freely spoken word, the world is formed. At his freely spoken word – mountains, rivers, moons, chickadees, constellations, humans, forests.

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