What does Jesus have to do with Nature?

There are things in our lives we tend to keep separate—like Jesus and nature.

"Jesus and Nature" with lake/clouds scene image

We don’t do it on purpose…it just happens until we start to rethink it.

In reality, Jesus and nature are indelibly linked together!

I’ve always loved verses in the Bible that talk about the interaction between nature and God.

So what does Jesus have to do with Nature?

One of my favorite Christmas carols is Joy to the World. The lyrics, written by Isaac Watts, were first published almost 300 years ago. He based them on Psalm 98 in the Bible, which says things like:

Make a joyful noise to Yahweh, all the earth!…Let the sea roar with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell therein. Let the rivers clap their hands. Let the mountains sing for joy together.

Psalm 98:4, 7-8
Waves crashing against the shoreline
Lake Superior waves—”let the sea roar”!

Jesus Created Nature

According to Genesis (1:1), “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” How did He do it? “And God said…”

He spoke it into existence. In the Gospel of John in the New Testament, Jesus is called “The Word.”

John (1:1-3) says:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him. Without Him, nothing was made that has been made.

Who is the Word? Verse 14 tells us: “The Word became flesh, and lived among us.” It’s Jesus.

Colossians 1:15-16 reemphasizes it:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created in the heavens and on the earth, visible things and invisible things, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things have been created through Him and for Him.

Nature Displays Jesus’ Characteristics

Just as we can learn a lot about musicians and artists by studying their creations, we can learn a lot about Jesus by studying His creation.

FIRST, HIS CREATIVITY. Can you imagine the Mind that thought up all the different kinds of animals on the earth? The plant life? The sea life? The rocks and minerals? It’s a staggering amount of diversity and complexity. And yet so interdependent.

snow-covered evergreen branches
The amazing orderliness and creativity of snowflakes!

SECOND, HIS ORDERLINESS. “Each after its kind” whether plant life or animal life or people. An acorn always grows into an oak tree, never into a maple tree. A salmon egg always grows into a salmon, never into a trout or a zebra. Spring always follows winter, which always follows autumn, which always follows summer.

THIRD, HIS POWER. Water can wear away solid rock. Weather can destroy anything man can build. The energy the sun produces heats our planet from 93 million miles away.

FOURTH, HIS LOVE FOR BEAUTY. Birds with iridescent feathers and lovely songs. Butterflies with unique and detailed wing patterns. Flowers with wonderful aromas and eye-catching colors. Majestic mountains, lush rain forests, gushing waterfalls, sparkling gemstones.

monarch butterfly on flowers
The beauty in the natural world is all around us

Nature Responds to Jesus’ Presence

Back to Joy to the World and Psalm 98…

The Bible has many references to nature interacting with God, especially in the Psalms:

The heavens declare the glory of God.
    The expanse shows His handiwork.
Day after day they pour out speech,
    and night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech nor language,
    where their voice is not heard.
Their voice has gone out through all the earth,
    their words to the end of the world.
In them He has set a tent for the sun… (Psalm 19:1-4)

Let heaven and earth praise Him;
    the seas, and everything that moves therein! (Psalm 69:34)

Jesus Will Redeem Nature One Day

Verse 3 of Joy to the World concludes with this wonderful phrase: “He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.”

What’s the curse? The sins, sorrows and thorns referred to in the first half of the verse, which references Genesis 3—the curses released as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve.

Sin didn’t just bring judgement (the curse) on the people, but on the ground…on the earth.

Romans 8:20-21 says:

For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.

While we’re waiting for and working towards that day, we can help “make His blessings flow far as the curse is found” by bringing the presence of Jesus into our everyday lives.

And we can make His blessings flow by taking care of the wonderful creation He made and will one day redeem. By tending it as His caretakers and enjoying it as His daughters and sons.

September sunset, trees at the bottom
A gorgeous September sunset, right in my hometown

(All scriptures are from the World English Bible, public domain)

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Sharon Brodin
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