Thanking the universe

More and more I read people on social media “thanking the universe” for their new job or their new relationship, and also sometimes expressing hope that the universe will come through for them – sort of smooth their path to whatever it is they want. I’ve seen this expression way more than I’d like to in the posts and tweets of the formerly churched – and as a former student lay-minister I know a lot of formerly churched people, unfortunately.

I’m not exactly sure what’s with this, but I think it has something to do with that stubborn Imago Dei in each one of us. Reverence and loving fidelity to the God of the Bible (the giver of all good gifts) and in his only begotten Son is anathema in many of our subcultures, but that stubborn, programmed-in desire persists for something outside ourselves to worship provide help and salvation. This spiritual habit of the formerly churched doesn’t pass away easily, evidently, so perhaps re-branding its object is the path of least resistance.

I have an idealistic and at times even poetic mindset and even I know that “the universe” is for the most part a howling void that not only doesn’t care about me, it doesn’t have the ability to care about me. It is a created thing, in fact the sum of all created material; marvelous and awe-inspiring and glory-declaring but in no way, shape or form is it sentient.

One who wants to believe that there’s something in the universe to be worshiped or supplicated is obviously not a materialist but is more like a pantheist – here in the midst of our supposedly sophisticated and advanced post-modern times.

I can’t help thinking: how much more rational it is to worship and call out to the Maker of the universe rather than to what he has made?

. . .because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. – Romans 1:25 ESV

The victory shout of Resurrection Day

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57

And don’t forget verse 58! Because you have the victory:

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

In Christ Alone

I positively love the song In Christ Alone. We sang it last Sunday in church.

That’s why I was pretty pumped to find this YouTube on Jen’s site

In Christ alone my hope is found

He is my light, my strength, my song

This Cornerstone, this solid ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease

My Comforter, my All in All

Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh

Fullness of God in helpless babe

This gift of love and righteousness

Scorned by the ones He came to save

‘Til on that cross as Jesus died

The wrath of God was satisfied

For every sin on Him was laid

Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay

Light of the world by darkness slain

Then bursting forth in glorious Day

Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory

Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me

For I am His and He is mine

Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear in death

This is the power of Christ in me

From life’s first cry to final breath

Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man

Can ever pluck me from His hand

‘til He returns or calls me home

Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

Stuart Townend and Keith Getty