The power of God is present at all places, even in the tiniest tree leaf. Do you think God is sleeping on a pillow in heaven? . . . God is wholly present in all creation, in every corner, behind you and before you.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

LW 37:57



The remainder of Martin Luther's quotes will show the "LW" reference rather than his name.  "LW" = Luther's Works, a scholarly compilation of his writings.


God wants to be praised for nourishing and cherishing, for God cherishes all creatures. God is not only the Creator, but is also the Sustainer and Nourisher. (LW 5:197)



God's entire divine nature is wholly and entirely in all creatures, more deeply, more inwardly, more present than the creature is to itself. (LW 37:60)



God is entirely and personally present in the wilderness, in the garden, in the field. (LW 37:61)



"Faithful earthkeeping involves extending the justice, peace, reconciliation, hope, and love of Christ to all creation. In caring for the Earth, we also deepen our relationship with God and with one another, making our faith more alive and relevant, in and to a broken world."

- Kim Winchell


God is in all creatures, even in the smallest flowers! (LW 54:327)



God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars. (Attributed to Luther; exact source in his writings unknown)



Although his response is really more a statement about hope than it is earthkeeping, I find it interesting that asked what he would do if he knew the world would be coming to an end tomorrow, Martin Luther is purported to have replied, "I would plant a tree today." 


Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Note it. Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead he set before your eyes the things that he had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?

St. Augustine (354-430)


Because the Divine could not express itself in any single being, the Divine created the great multiplicity of beings so that the perfection lacking to one would be supplied by the others. Thus the whole universe together participates in and manifests the divine more than any single being whatever.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)



Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things. Every single creature is full of God and is a book about God. If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature - even a caterpillar - I would never have to prepare a sermon. So full of God is every creature.

Meister Eckhart (1260-1329)


All creation is a symphony of praise to God.

Hildegard of Bingen


Fostering a deeper (creation) spirituality: How? Where do we start?

"Probably the easiest place to start is in simply paying attention and making use of all of our senses, when we are outdoors. We can try to be more conscious of the fact that we, as humans, are a part of nature, not separate from it. We can pray for openness of heart, mind, and spirit to God’s presence woven throughout creation. 

We can try to understand our physical 'place' in new and deeper ways - we can learn the names of creatures, trees, and plants in our bioregion, for example. At sundown, we might try to be intentionally conscious of the fact that the Sun is not really going 'down,' but rather, that our part of the Earth is turning away. When we look at the stars at night, we should know that we're not just looking 'up,' but also out and down, into vast reaches of space that, without the force of gravity, we would tumble into! 

A common spiritual practice for deepening one's connection to God is to use a simple, repeated phrase as a prayer-like meditation. Using such a phrase while walking outdoors can be a way to prepare ourselves to be more open and receptive to what God would have us see or learn from creation, and so become a pathway to a deeper spirituality. 

With practice, we will find that God's Spirit can touch us through certain images in nature to help inform, enrich, and enliven our prayers or even mirror, in a metaphorical way, something we are experiencing in our own life and help to bring clarity to the situation. 

You will recall that our Lord Jesus himself frequently went into the wilderness to pray, and that he would often use natural images and metaphors to illustrate his parables. 

Of course, in urban areas, finding 'wilderness' can be nearly impossible; and finding special 'nature moments' to reflect on God's' goodness can also seem challenging. However, we might be surprised at how often life — greenery, creatures — will try so hard to occupy any niche it can find. While we may discover unexpected beauty in such places, we should also open our eyes anew to the challenged, and often less beautiful, urban corners of creation. 

Something for us to think about: How might we help to bring healing, freshness, life, and greenness to even such places, as 'ambassadors' of Christ's reconciliation — in the restoration of right relationship — of all things?"

- Kim Winchell


The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God.

St John Damascene


Love all creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God's life! Love the animals. Love the plants; love everything. If you love everything, you will soon perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.


Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)
The Brothers Karamazov)



"Earth Ball" by Olaf Skarsholt

If the earth were
only a few feet in diameter,
floating a few feet above a field
somewhere, people would come from
every where to marvel at it. People would walk
around it marveling at its big pools of water, its little
pools and the water flowing between the pools. People
would marvel at the bumps on it, and the holes in it, and they
would marvel at the very thin layer of gas surrounding it and the
water suspended in the gas. The people would marvel at all the
creatures walking around the surface of the ball, and in the water.
The people would declare it precious because it was the only one,
And they would protect it, so that it would not be hurt. The ball
would be the greatest wonder known, and people would come
to behold it, to be healed, to gain knowledge, and to know
beauty and to wonder how it could be. People would love
it, and defend it with their lives, because they would
somehow know that their lives, their own
roundness, could be nothing without it.
If the earth were only a few
feet in diameter.


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Kim Winchell is Diaconal Minister for Earthkeeping Education and Advocacy,
North/West Lower Michigan Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.