“I . . . created them for mine own purpose”

“I . . . created them for mine own purpose” July 11, 2022

 

Looking from Washington State across the Strait of Juan de Fuca toward Vancouver Island, British Columbia
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

 

I have a little more information about the talk that I’ll be giving in Calgary on Thursday, 14 July 2022, at 7:30 PM.  I’ll be speaking in the building known as the Calgary Stake Centre, for which the address is 2021 17 Ave SW Calgary, AB T2T 0G2.

 

If you’re in the Calgary area, I hope to see you there.  I realize that Thursday is a rather unusual night on which to have a church fireside, but, given some prior commitments of mine, that was the best that we could do.

 

The Race Rocks Lighthouse is out some distance in the Salish Sea, standing on the largest and most substantial of the “rocks,” which are thronged with seagulls and pinnipeds.
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

 

This afternoon, we spent about 3.5-4.0 hours out on the Salish Sea — that is, on Puget Sound and westward into the Strait of Juan de Fuca — in quest of marine life.  We were a tad disappointed not to have seen any orcas, or killer whales; they’re what we’ve always seen here before, and they’re pretty much the bread and butter (I think) of local whale watching.  But the whale watching boats are apparently no longer permitted to follow the resident pods and the transient orcas are less predictable and more widely dispersed.  However, the day was glorious, the sea was calm, and we did encounter a fair number of humpback whales, back from their winter mating and birthing in the waters off of Mexico and Hawaii.  It seems that they’ve begun to congregate in the area much more than they did a few years back.  If I understood correctly, about two decades ago there were years in which no humpbacks were spotted.  Now, though, upwards of 350 have been showing up each season.  We saw at least two mother-and-baby pairs, and some on the boat (including my wife and at least one of the pros) thought that they saw a breaching humpback off in the considerable distance.  We also saw harbor seals, California seals, sea lions, and, on Race Rocks, two sea otters.  (This was evidently a big deal.  The locals on the boat, who collectively have years of experience between them — one of them having lived at the research station by the lighthouse for a total of about nine months [what a wonderful opportunity for writing!] — were aware of only one otter at Race Rocks, an aging character named Ollie, and were surprised to see, according to them for the very first time, a second one in the immediate neighborhood.)

 

I waved from the boat at Lane Wolfley, a sometime reader of this blog who lives and works in the Port Angeles area on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.  Not just once, but at least twice.   Churlishly, however, he never waved back.

 

Looking across the Strait of Juan de Fuca at Washington’s Olympic Peninsula in the United States

(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

 

I have a curious question:  Many years ago, in the closing months of my mission in German-speaking Switzerland, I became aware of a humorous song that some clever missionary, somewhere, had put together (using the tune of the old hymn “Should You Feel Inclined to Censure”) from common, even clichéd, justifications that we constantly heard at the door (in German, naturally) when people didn’t want to talk with us.  Which, I hardly need to add, they almost never did.  (There’s something of a story behind each line.  For example, lines three and four go back to a 1740 observation of Friedrich II [Frederick the Great] of Prussia.)  Anyway, here’s how the missionary song goes:

 

Tue recht und scheue niemand.

Es ist wirklich alles gleich.

Jeder wird nach seiner Façon [or Fasson]

Selig werd’n im Himmelreich.

Alle Wege führ’n nach oben

Und ich habe keine Zeit.

Ich bin doch schon evangelisch

Und ich bleib’s in Ewigkeit!

 

My question is simply this:  I know that there are at least two or three former German-language missionaries who look in here from time to time.  Are any of them aware of this song?  Was it known in their missions?  I have no reason to believe that it was created in Switzerland or by a Swiss missionary, but, thus far, I also have no reason not to believe that it was.

 

Outdoing Hubble!
President Joe Biden unveiled this image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, known as Webb’s First Deep Field, during a White House event on Monday, 11 July 2022.

Webb’s image covers a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground — and reveals thousands of galaxies in a tiny sliver of an inconceivably vast universe
(Public domain image from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

 

Please ignore the fact that this story involves President Joe Biden.  It only does so peripherally, after all, and it has absolutely nothing to do with politics.  In fact, it makes politics look minuscule by comparison.  If you’re ever tempted to feel proud or to be arrogant, please contemplate this for a minute or two.  These aren’t even mere planets or just solar systems.  They’re entire galaxies:

 

“President Biden reveals the James Webb Space Telescope’s stunning first image”

 

And, behold, thou art my son; wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end . . .

Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth. . . .

And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all.

And now, behold, this one thing I show unto thee, Moses, my son, for thou art in the world, and now I show it unto thee.

And it came to pass that Moses looked, and beheld the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled and wondered.

And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth.

10 And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. . . .

27 And it came to pass, as the voice was still speaking, Moses cast his eyes and beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the Spirit of God.

28 And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he beheld not; and he discerned them by the Spirit of God; and their numbers were great, even numberless as the sand upon the sea shore.

29 And he beheld many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof.

30 And it came to pass that Moses called upon God, saying: Tell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them?

31 And behold, the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him face to face. And the Lord God said unto Moses: For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me.

32 And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.

33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.

(Moses 1:4-10, 27-33)

Posted from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

 


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