God is even more awesome and unpredictable than Everest is. No matter how many times we've been up to the summit, God cannot ever be conquered or tamed. God will always be a test, a life or death proposition. God will always require the most of us and, even if we can get to the top of that mountain, will leave us breathless every time.
From the beginning to the end of the Bible, rivers come from God, and deep in our collective consciousness is the notion that going down to the river to pray will bring us closer to God. It worked for Jesus when he was baptized in the River Jordan and the heavens opened and a voice said, "This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased." If you, too, want to be a beloved son or daughter of God, if you want to get closer to God, come down with me and get to know a river.
So on these several Sundays after Easter, I wanted to share with you some reflections on what nature can teach us about the nature of God. As it says in the Song of Songs: "Come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come..." [Song 2:10-12]
Now some will doubt that the Creation is endowed with anything like intention. They won't buy the idea that the earth had a part to play in witnessing to the resurrection. But the more sensitive souls among us just might be open to the suggestion. The 14th-century German mystic, Meister Eckhart, once said, "The Father speaks the Son from his entire power and he speaks him in all things. All creatures are words of God." [Sermon One, in Breakthrough: Meister Eckhart's Creation Spirituality in New Translation, ed. by Matthew Fox, 1980] If Meister Eckhart is right, if all creatures can tell us something about what God was speaking in Christ, then the earth has quite a story to tell. Let's listen: