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This is God's World


I’ve just returned from six weeks Sabbatical and two weeks annual leave, most spent with Anna in Scotland and Belgium.

So many thoughts have passed through my mind over the past two months. I hope to share many with you in this column over the next few months. However, one thought stands over all:


Humans have been making their mark in Scotland and Belgium for thousands of years. Battles have been fought, civil works constructed, pictures painted, and fields ploughed. There are so many grand and glorious things to see.

But so much wrought by human hands has by now been worn down by the sands of time. Empires have come and gone. Ruined churches and castles dot the landscape. Our best human efforts are powerless to withstand the relentless forces of change and decay.

We couldn’t help but compare the work of human hands with the work of God’s hand in creation. Misty lochs, khaki camouflage mountain tops, heather laced glens, bubbling brooks, divebombing gannets, red deer on the dash, salmon scaling waterfalls – these transcend the passage of time and far exceed in glory and wonder anything crafted by human hands. 

But more glorious still, the best we encountered – whether in Scotland, Belgium, or even here at home – is the glory and wonder of people made in the immeasurably glorious image of God. Beautiful people who will stay in our hearts forever.

Let us not worship the work of human hands but rather declare aloud to all creation, ‘This is God’s world, and, by grace, we are his people’.