“Making known all that belongs to the Father” was what I jotted into my journal after looking up John 16: 13-15 (NIV) for a study I’m doing.
The passage describes some of the roles of the Holy Spirit. While the larger context of the verse has more to do with how the Spirit guides believers into truths that are of and honoring to God, what came to me was more literal – the Spirit making known that everything belongs to God.
That morning, I was moved to thankfulness about something I don’t normally feel thankful about – high-rise office buildings. But THAT morning…
Rounding a sweeping curve on my drive to work, how the morning sun reflected off the gold glass of the Towne Centre complex of high-rise office buildings near where I work struck me. Like the beautiful artistry of this four-building complex was “made known” to me as belonging to God.
Not audibly but a thought in my mind, “All you find striking about these buildings, their artistry, engineering, architecture, craftsmanship, materials and how they radiate the sun right now is due entirely to me.” Was that the Holy Spirit speaking? Certainly not a thought I would conceive given my aversion to high-rise office buildings.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalm 19:1, NIV)
I often think “creation” when I read this verse, as in “Creation declares…” However, I wouldn’t normally attribute high-rise office buildings for inclusion in any statement having to do with creation or nature. Rather, a lot of creation is altered and plowed under to build these monstrous structures surrounded by oceans of concrete parking interconnected by vast ribbons of highways bringing workers to and from these beacons of commerce.
More like insulation FROM creation than a reflection OF creation. Could God possibly see things differently than me on this?
“There is not one square inch of the entire creation about which Jesus Christ does not cry out, ‘This is mine! This belongs to me!”’ said the great Dutch prime minister Abraham Kuyper.
The Bible offers plentiful backing to that claim.
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Psalm 24:1, NIV)
Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by his power. (Hebrews 2:10a, ESV)
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16, ESV)
Is anything created or that can be experienced NOT covered by these declarations?
This Thanksgiving week, I’m reminded that to be thankful is a gift that isn’t always tied to the object of appreciation. To be able to appreciate something that’s not customarily in my (or your) “thankfulness wheelhouse” is itself a gift.
To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life–this is indeed a gift from God. (Ecclesiastes 5:19b, NLT)
Towne Centre, Southfield, MI: http://www.southfieldtowncenter.com/