The World as an Altar
The world is vast and covers seven continents with five oceans. Inhabitants of this planet number more than 7.5 billion. The predominant religions are Christianity (2.2 billion), Islam (1.6 billion), Non-Believers (1.1 billion) – atheists, agnostics, and people with no-faith tradition, Hinduism (1 billion), Buddhism (500 million), that doesn’t believe in God or gods, and Chinese (394 million) – Confucianism (5-6 million) and Taoism (20 million) are major Chinese religions. The earth’s surface is covered with a landscape of plains, mountains, rivers, lakes, and trees. Every year in parts of the world there are natural disasters e.g., tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, typhoons, volcanoes, forest fires, and floods. But this planet earth with all its eccentricities is a natural altar to God.
Many living creatures grace the earth’s surface. There is an abundance of animal life on all continents. Fishes of all sizes dwell in the depth of the seas. Plants in forests tower overhead with nests for birds of every specie under the sun. And flowers bloom brilliantly that are provided and maintained by a gracious Creator.
It’s in this spiritual setting set aglow by the sun in daylight, and enchanted at night with the moon and stars that tell earthlings their divine story. Of such is the tremendous outpouring of God’s gifts to mankind. So as citizens of various cultures offering up praises, believers awake each morning to greet a new reality. Nothing remains the same with nature. There is day and night. Seasons come and go, but believers embrace these changes as blessings in the cycle of life.
Every movement on earth – from the rustle of leaves in trees, the contests of animals in the wild, feeding of birds swooping down to feed on fishes below, reveal the natural ways of living. Mankind is distinct with vicarious activities as defenders and protectors of this realm, and still there are conditions that lack understanding. What’s the best way to live? Why is there death and suffering in the world? Is conflict a natural part of existence? Is peace an illusion?
Still in our daily walk on the altar of earth, believers offer up prayers for a better tomorrow. With time may their understanding about life vicissitudes become clearer, and mankind find unity and live in peace.