15th March 2014

It’s Just A Leaf—But… 

“For since the beginning of the world the invisible attributes of God, e.g. his eternal power and deity, have been plainly discernable through things which he has made and which are commonly seen and known, thus leaving these men without a rag of excuse.”
Romans 1:20 (Phillips)

Have you ever held a leaf up to the light and gazed in admiration at how intricate it is? The veins radiate out from its stem just like the bones in your hand.  It is so fragile and so perfect but also, surprise, surprise, you can tell which tree it came from by its shape! At face value, it looks so useless but attached to the tree it drinks in poison (CO2) from the air and refuses to return in kind; instead it breathes out life-giving oxygen that we need to breathe in order to survive. Then in autumn it dies, falls to earth and offers up everything it is to bring nourishment to the soil—such a fragile thing but what a life of giving and service to humanity! God creates leaves season by season, billions upon billions, and he does so faithfully, year after year—or we wouldn’t be here to appreciate them. 

We live in a world of wonders but most of the time they have become run-of- the-mill.  We dwell amongst incredible miracles but we have grown blind to them; we are lavished with gifts that we now expect or ignore. 

An example, as one anonymous writer puts it, is contained in this story:
A man whispered, “God speak to me”, and a meadowlark sang but the man didn’t hear.
So, the man yelled, “God speak to me”, and the thunder rolled across the sky—but the man didn’t listen.
The man looked around and said, “God let me see you”, and a star shone brightly—but the man didn’t notice.
Then he shouted, “Show me a miracle”, and a child was born—but the man didn’t know.
In despair he cried out, “God, touch me and let me know you’re there”, and God reached down and touched him—but the man brushed the butterfly off his shoulder and walked away without knowing. 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning had the wisdom to write this many years ago:
                        “Earth’s crammed with heaven,
                        and every common bush afire with God;
                        But only he who sees, takes off his shoes—
                        The rest sit around and pick blackberries!” 

As the title scripture above says, quoted this time from the NKJV; “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made.” As God’s children we all need to laugh and rejoice at God’s joy as we see clearly and enjoy the beautiful gifts he has given us—even a leaf! 

Father, your amazing gifts are so varied and beautiful; help us to take the time every day to see your love for us and your glory in each of them.

Study by Cliff Neill


cliffneillAbout the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone:  01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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