I got to spend this weekend with my family and grandparents in Syracuse. It was really nice to see my grandparents again; they’re from Indiana so we only see them once or twice a year. While we were there, my dad and I took a walk to talk, cause I can’t stand just sitting around for too long.
We were talking about church buildings. I was saying how spending a lot of money on a church building bothers me, because there’s so much good that could be done in the community. But he brought up this interesting idea, that maybe it just shows a picture of who God is, because we serve an extravagant God.
Dad was saying, look at the temple in the Old Testament, and how ornate it was. While our church buildings today aren’t the same, since we’re the temple/church; that Old Testament temple showed the abundance of God. “The air that you can keep breathing, Niagara Falls where the water keeps running and running and running,” Dad said, “it all shows the abundance of God!”
I was thinking about that conversation again today, and thought – you know, God could have made the whole world in black and white. But He didn’t. Think about those color palettes in Photoshop – and how many shades there are of each color, and how hard it must be for someone to come up with just the right pigment for each of them – and yet there are so many more colors in the world around us. And then He gave us eyes to see and delight and rejoice in these beautiful colors. He paints the sky differently each night; He landscaped the continents and oceans; He created an earth of variety and richness.
He could’ve made the world soundless, but He didn’t. He created music; keys, modalities, tunes, song combinations, words, language, random sounds like birds and crickets and waterfalls and heartbeats. He even gave silence a sound. Then He gave us ears to hear those things, to enjoy and experiment and explore the beauty of sounds.
And how much more there is to be seen in eternity! In the book of Revelation, John didn’t even know how to describe the things he saw, and could only say, “It was kinda like this…” because nothing on earth could compare. Not only did He fill this earth with His glory, but also heaven, which still awaits us!
What an extravagant God we serve! It just hit me as I was thinking about all this… He is God, so He could have made this world any way He wanted to; but He chose to be extravagant, to give us abundance, to fill our lives with opportunities for exploration. He made so much complexity that science is still trying to figure out how everything works, thousands and thousands of years into the world. We have a language so vibrant that people can still write new books and symphonies, come up with different word combinations, and different musical pieces. Incredible! He’s given us this earth, this universe, full of possibilities, opportunities, beauty, richness, and glory. And all of that, He says, speaks to who He is.
Creation testifies to God’s character. And what does it show us? That our God is extravagant, and has come to give us abundant life. When you really let this sink in, doesn’t it just overwhelm you with thankfulness? What a great, extravagant God we serve!