Today is Thursday, February 8, 2018. Day 21,882.
John Williams, born on this date in 1932, said, “When you think about Boston, Harvard and M.I.T. are the brains of the city, and its soul might be Faneuil Hall or the State House or the Old Church. But I think the pulsing, pounding heart of Boston is Fenway Park.”
I did not think it possible to like John Williams even more.
The word for today, from Dictionary.com, is naissance, a noun which means, “a birth, an origination, or a growth, as that of a person, an organization, an idea, or a movement.”
C was feeling better, yesterday, but then her fever went back up a little bit last night. I haven’t talked to her yet, this morning. I still have chest congestion, but no fever. What I have feels like a case of what we called “The Commerce Crud,” when I was in college. We’re supposed to do a Night of Worship, Saturday night. If my congestion follows its usual pattern, there is no way I’ll be able to sing, this weekend. Perhaps it won’t, though.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
You have seen, O LORD; be not silent! O Lord, be not far from me!
Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication, for my cause, my God and my Lord!
Vindicate me, O LORD, my God, according to your righteousness, and let them not rejoice over me!
Let them not say in their hearts, “Aha, our heart’s desire!” Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”
Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me!
Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.
(From The Business of Heaven, C.S. Lewis)
We are Inveterate Poets
“When a quantity is very great, we cease to regard it as mere quantity. Our imaginations awake. Instead of mere quantity, we now have a quality–the sublime. Unless this were so, the merely arithmetical greatness of the galaxy would be no more impressive than the figures in a telephone directory. It is thus, in a sense, from ourselves that the material universe derives its power to overawe us. To a mind which did not share our emotions, and lacked our imaginative energies, the argument from size would be sheerly meaningless. Men look on the starry heavens with reverence: monkeys do not. The silence of the eternal spaces terrified Pascal, but it was the greatness of Pascal that enabled them to do so. When we are frightened by the greatness of the universe, we are (almost literally) frightened by our own shadows: for these light years and billions of centuries are mere arithmetic until the shadow of man, the poet, the maker of myth, falls upon them. I do not say we are wrong to tremble at his shadow; it is a shadow of an image of God. But if ever the vastness of matter threatens to overcross our spirits, one must remember that it is matter spiritualized which does so. To puny man, the great nebula in Andromeda owes in a sense its greatness.” (From Dogma and the Universe)
I am fascinated by this reading. Especially the bit about men looking at the heavens with reverence, but monkeys do not. I never considered that before, but it’s true. And this is fuel for the debate with people who foolishly believe that animals are the same as humans. Animals couldn’t care less about the beauty of nature and the heavens. We see a beautiful tree and ponder the magnificence of God. A giraffe sees the same tree and thinks, “Dinner!” In another sense, though, the animals are slightly ahead of us. For that giraffe never worries about where his next meal is coming from. But Lewis’s point, I believe, is that it is our imagination that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, and it is that imagination that enables us to appreciate the wonder of creation, from the depths of the Mariana Trench to the farthest reaches of the universe.
Father, I am often without adequate words to appreciate your creation. I look up at the night sky sometimes, especially when I am away from the city lights, and I stand in awe. I have traveled to all four corners of our nation, each with its own kind of beauty, and I stand in awe. I confess that my favorite of all of these is to sit by the sea and watch/listen to the ocean. I am in awe of the power represented by the gigantic body of water. I look out on the horizon and it, in a sense, terrifies me. When I ponder you, my God, I feel the same. I feel a sense of awe from your majesty and glory, and then am frightened by the scope of your power. But the greatest feeling of all is when I sense your presence, which is always around me. I thank you for that!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22
Grace and peace, friends.