“With nature’s help, humankind can set into creation all that is necessary and life sustaining. Everything in nature, the sum total of heaven and of earth, becomes a temple and an altar for the service of God.”~ Hildegard of Bingen …
If you have ever seen an altar in a place of worship, or been to a temple, chapel, or church service, you may already have an understanding of their role and importance. For many faiths, temples and altars are a place of true worship for God, a place where direct and holy communication with God takes place. For some, it is also a symbol of the Final Sacrifice made for mankind by Jesus of Nazareth. And so when I read the words of Hildegard above, I think to myself, “How great and marvelous is such a thought: that all of nature is a temple and an altar for the service of God!” If we think of nature in such a way, it becomes easy for us to worship our God anywhere, and everywhere–perhaps even to think of ourselves as temples and altars for the service of God.
Nature is a beautiful gift, one that can be easy to take for granted. It holds all the potential to sustain life, and that is truly an amazing and wonderful thing. How do we honor such power? How often do we tend to and care for the world around us? How often do we stop to experience nature in all its glory–the gentle rain or cool breeze, the warm sun and the fresh air, the trees, the animals?
Everything we do–whether it is life-giving, life sustaining, or life-consuming–goes on to create ripples in the pond of life. What ripples are we creating? In what ways are we helping to make a positive impact in the world around us… and what example are we setting for our children about honoring the gifts of nature?
Spend some time in the solace and reverence of nature.
Questions to consider:
What are some of the most beautiful things you witness being outside?
How can you set an example of honoring nature as a temple and an altar of God?
In what ways can you contribute towards preserving nature and the love and peace prevailing on the earth?
For further thought:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~ Henry David Thoreau