What’s the greatest example of God’s beautiful creation that you’ve ever seen? In my limited travels it would have to be Hawaii. My wife’s family gave us a short trip there for her 40th birthday and we were awed by the beautiful ocean views, sheer cliffs and rock formations, lush forests, and more. One afternoon we followed a guide book’s directions to a remote cliff overlooking a unique waterfall. After trekking through a narrow path and underbrush we emerged to a stunning natural vista. It was just the two of us in God’s perfect creation…until we saw the couple in their tux and wedding gown with a photographer taking pictures. Don’t worry – we didn’t photo bomb them.

I’ve been thinking about that vacation in the context of our theme for this school year “New in Christ” based on 2 Corinthians 5:17. Our special subtheme for March is “New in Christ: Part of his new creation!” based on Isaiah 65:17-18: “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth…be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create.” Sometimes we take for granted the sheer beauty and majesty of what God has created that’s all around us every day. Here in central Florida we can easily travel and see pristine beaches, the Everglades, natural springs, lakes, rivers, forests, and more. The awesome evidence of God’s loving creation is all around us! Even better though is the “new heaven” waiting for us when we leave this world. God has created a perfect eternal resting place that exceeds the wonders of this earth far beyond our imaginations. “Be glad and rejoice” in the wonderful world God has created for us; and look ahead with peace and joy to an eternity with God still to come.