Stewardship: Faith and Science

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S (Scripture): Psalm 65

You visit the earth and make it abundant,

    enriching it greatly

        by God’s stream, full of water.

You provide people with grain

    because that is what you’ve decided.

10 

Drenching the earth’s furrows,

        leveling its ridges,

    you soften it with rain showers;

        you bless its growth.

11 

You crown the year with your goodness;

    your paths overflow with rich food.

12 

Even the desert pastures drip with it,

    and the hills are dressed in pure joy.

13 

The meadowlands are covered with flocks,

    the valleys decked out in grain—

        they shout for joy;

        they break out in song!

O (Observation): The psalmist sees God as the one responsible for watering the earth and bringing forth vegetation and life itself. And not just life, but ABUNDANT life!

God’s stream brings sustenance to the earth!

Waters flow – strong or gentle – as needed.

Result? Desert and hills get what they need. Meadows and valleys rejoice.

This is legend AND this is science to the ancient ones who wrote these psalms. Perhaps science and legend are one and the same for this author.

A (Application): We are truly children of the Enlightenment. I’m all for science, but I believe the pendulum has swung too far. We are forgetful of the stories that brought us this far along the way. We fail to see our interconnectedness with other cultures and races. We fail to see how we are one with people who look and speak different from “us.”

Now that we “know better,” we don’t tell stories of the earth crying out or the animals having stories to share.

J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis have both been influential for me and my family as they bring stories that don’t make sense : ). Odd creatures exist in their stories – both good and evil. Trees walk and talk. Portals to other worlds!

Now, it’s the Marvel Comic Universe that brings stories of far off worlds and odd creatures to light. (And yes, I’m a HUGE fan 🔷.)

But when it comes to our faith, we have very little imagination. We disconnect faith from the earth or the very things we use on a daily basis: soap, water, transportation, air, mountains, and so on.

God is revealed to us in more than just the person of Jesus. And we rejoice in this fact. And we rejoice in the abundant forms of life all around us.

One area I have found to be extremely challenging and equally rewarding: MONEY.

Science and logic tell us one thing. Faith, another. What if we joined these two together? What if we saw paying our bills and giving money away as equally important? What if we let loose of our desire to make it all work out for us, only? What if we gave our money a voice? What story would it tell us?

Would it tell us how we buy more of the same stuff for ourselves, while others go hungry? Would our money tell us we have plenty, but ignore that sentiment and use it more for ourselves?

Or would our money explain how it sustains our faith communities and homeless shelters and food pantries???

Let science and faith work together for the good of all.

P (Prayer): Lord, the stories of what we give to you are distant from our hearts and minds. Wake us up to the joy of giving once again. Amen.

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Thy Kingdom Come…

  S (Scripture): Psalm 105:23 Israel moved to Egypt; Jacob lived for a time in the land of Ham.

24 The Lord made his people very fruitful, and made them more numerous than their enemies.

25 He caused them to hate his people, and to mistreat his servants.

26 He sent his servant Moses, and Aaron, whom he had chosen.

27 They executed his miraculous signs among them, and his amazing deeds in the land of Ham.

O (Observation): This psalm obviously makes reference to Moses being sent to Egypt to set God’s people free.    Submitting to God is the key element here for Moses.   God’s will is done on earth, through these plagues.  While this seems difficult and destructive, God’s will is done, regardless.  

A (Application):  When we pray: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” we tend to think of nice things to come.  However, God’s authority and power, given to Moses, is used for destructive purposes. God gets the attention of the Egyptians, and God’s will is done.

In these days, though, I see God’s Kingdom (as best I can) through the eyes of Jesus.  In Jesus, we see a different side of God: peace-filled, steady, servant-like.   

Perhaps this way of Jesus is what we are called to.   Gone are the days of bringing calamity on other peoples.  Instead, we are about the work of restoring relationships and bringing awareness of God’s presence here and now.  

P (Prayer): Lord, call us to live out your will here and now.  No sense in waiting, right?  We need your guidance. Bring us your will, so we can live it out here. Amen.