WE CANNOT GIVE YOU THANKS, ALMIGHTY UNIVERSE, BECAUSE THERE IS NO YOU THERE TO THANK

For since the creation of the world His [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:20-22)

A man set out for a walk on a beautiful Fall day. The sky was blue, the air crisp and clean, the Fall colors brilliant. After a long while he sat down against the trunk of a magnificent maple and began to weep. He was an atheist. He saw no gift in anything. Therefore, there was no one to thank.

There is a hollow ring in the gushing praises of those who marvel at the wonders of the universe while claiming it all came from, well, nothing. Why anyone would see fit to joyfully embrace this nihilistic, thankless view of life, with all its icy implications, is a bit hard to fathom. Not to mention the evangelical fervor of some atheists who, like the late Christopher Hitchins, take no end of delight in announcing the stupidity of belief in God while advocating for the supreme wisdom of belief in, well, nothing.

And it would appear that misery, indeed, loves company since so many of these lost souls are determined to drag us all into the hopeless void created by their boundless pride in what lies between their ears. And this is perhaps, the most monstrous of atheism’s temptations: the invitation to see nothing as gift and to abandon gratitude. At least the fellow in our story had the good sense to see this for what it is: the invitation to cover life in a shroud of hopeless grief.

Published by Pastor Mark Anderson

Lutheran pastor, husband, dad, archaeology nut, serious blues guitarist and aspiring luthier.

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