Two Fridays ago I told the story of a neighborhood handyman (really the beaver who lives in the woods near our house). We had admired his workmanship, but the dam he made caused the walking path to be flooded. Yesterday when we took a walk the beaver dam was gone; it had been dismantled to save the walking path. We stood sadly looking at where the dam had been, wondering about the fate of this amazingly hard working creature who with his small furry body could change the shape of the whole landscape.
For the past couple days I have been thinking about the bond we humans share with God’s creatures. All the good things we feel about creatures, like compassion, come from God. God uses creatures to instruct us, like in the familiar proverb about the ant; in Proverbs 6:6 the sluggard is advised to be more like the ant in its labors. And why would God show such concern for animals that He says a righteous man pays attention to what his animal needs (Proverbs 12:10) ?
What caught my eye in today’s reading was the end of the reading. The reading is about the end times, and we know that Jesus will be worshiped by all. But here, John adds that EVERY CREATURE will sing praise to God and Jesus. He adds, every creature on earth and under the earth, and in the sea will praise God. It echoes Job 12:7-10 where Job says the animals, birds and fish will teach us about God’s power.
This made me think about completeness. At the end of all things, all things that breathe will use their breath to praise God. The spirit of God which moved in creation will bring all created things to praise Him. Advent, the story of the coming of Jesus is the story of the beginning of the end, when our whole world will one day praise God.