In the second in a series of articles from Through-Lines: Defining What a Christian Is – Christians as creation-enjoyers celebrate and discover God’s beautiful creation.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
–Psalm 65:8 (NIV)
Regardless of the season, how awesome is it that as adults we get to be tour guides who show our children God’s wonderful creation? When we view the whole world as God’s classroom, we get to encourage wonder in children. Using our creation-enjoyer senses, we see the eagle soar, touch a baby’s tiny hand, and feel the warmth of the sun on our faces. Children’s experiences point to the presence of our active Creator God. Creation-Enjoying helps kids understand also our responsibilities to creation and how people before us and right now are using, and maybe abusing, this beautiful world.
Psalm 19 shows that there is nothing ordinary, usual, or boring about God’s natural world. We get to draw attention to all things made by God–including cuddly kittens, soft downy ducklings, and pesky mosquitoes. David the Creation-Enjoyer’s Psalm 65:8’s “songs of joy” is a great exemplar of how we should respond to God’s creation. Encourage families to get out into nature and explore it, study it, and talk about it. God makes good stuff, including us.
What activities have you designed that will create wonder in children? One idea that has been popular in schools is the Roots of Empathy program where a parent brings in a small baby for the children to meet. Another idea for a Sunday morning is to do some “wonder” activities outside your church building.
Encourage parents to spend some time with their children looking at a sunset or a mountain range. Invite them to explore a state park or conservation area on a hike. Find maps or checklists for families to hike in your favorite forest, desert terrain, mountain area, or prairie plateau. Suggest they canoe or kayak through a lake or along a river. Show them places in your local area that might be new for them. Encourage family “acts of service” and suggest as a church family or small group to get some gardening gloves and go clean up a local park. Do some service work together outside!
Let’s be active creation-enjoyers! It’s time for road trip! (By car or by bicycle.)