What a glorious morning. As the dawning light slowly brightened, it revealed a frost-whitened landscape; the field beyond our garden shrouded in a low mist topped with the shadowy outline of the tree-line beyond. Later, as the wintry sun climbed a little, the mist passed and frosty roofs were briefly tinged golden, before the frost slowly melted. Outside the window, birdsong accompanied the changing scene. I was being treated to a free son et lumiere – in daylight.
The psalmist tells us that ‘The heavens are telling the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork’. Furthermore, In the heavens, God has made a home for the sun, …. who rejoices as a champion athlete to run his race. God’s creative handiwork is not restricted to the heavens. St John, in words so recently read and re-read in carol services across the land, reminds us that ‘in the beginning was the Word, .. The Word was God and all things came into being through him. This morning’s glorious display was nature praising nature’s creator.
It is mid-January, and here in the depth of winter our world is full of uncertainty. This is all so very unsettling. Winter weather and short daylight hours only add to a seasonal air of gloom. Last Monday, I hear, has been dubbed ‘blue’; apparently a travel company ploy to encourage holiday bookings. Saturday was dull, damp, uninviting; just the weather to encourage the blues. Today we were treated to a moment of great beauty. This moment, this beauty is a free gift; a show staged by the natural world, an expression of exuberant joy in its creator. No need to travel, just wrap up warm and step outside.
Enjoying this morning’s display, I am reminded that I am as much a part of nature, as much God’s handiwork, as the birds who sing, the sun-drenched frost crystals, the swirling mists. As I go about my business I am called not just to enjoy this natural gift of praise, but to be part of it. Nature is not mine to do with as I will. We are all called as partners in the eternal dance of praise to our creator. This morning I enjoyed looking on as the world around me praised its’ creator; I wonder, what might that world around me think, as it looks on me?
Rev Philip Payne Epiphany Season – January 16th
The Notice Sheet for 23rd January can be found here
 Extracts from Ps 19, some paraphrased.
 Jn 1:1,3 extracts