Saturday Nights and Planet Earth
Nature documentaries: you either love them or hate them! We love them. So much so that Becky and I have a unique ritual on Saturday nights to help us prepare for the Sabbath. A typical Saturday will find us putting in a long day of chores and/or ministry—pretty standard for many of us. We then come home (take a 4-mile walk if we missed it in the morning), eat dinner, and settle down to watch one of the BBC’s episodes of Planet Earth (or an equivalent nature DVD like Nat Geo, etc). We’ve been doing this for several years now.
If you’re not familiar with Planet Earth (or any of the follow-up series, like Blue Planet, Life or Human Planet, Frozen Planet, Africa), you’re missing a first-class series. The Planet Earth team does an absolutely incredible job documenting wildlife and nature all over the world. The photography is stunning! Here’s why we’ve adopted this strange ritual: it helps to lift us up to see God’s world from on high. It reminds us how small we are and how BIG God is. Since we believe that God left His fingerprints all over creation, this is a way to “see God” and be refreshed before going to sleep and heading into a new Sabbath. Romans 1 reminds us of what theologians call natural revelation, the fingerprints of God in the created world.
We’ve grown to love our ritual. We feel more relaxed and refreshed each Saturday night. After all, half of obedience for observing the Sabbath is the preparation. To stay up late on Saturday nights, get little sleep, and then race around on Sunday mornings is to rip ourselves off from this incredible gift called “Sabbath.” It is God’s plan to recharge and renew His people. Maybe more believers would be truly refreshed if they spent a little more time seeing things from on high, rather than being so consumed by the tyranny of the moment.
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor