Once again the shrieks and howls and Facebook complaints of Maryland residents echo throughout the great Free State. “The cicadas are coming!” the panicked chorus shouts. I’m surprised people are not flocking to the grocery store to stock up on bread, milk, and toilet paper. Hopefully FEMA is being mobilized to deal with the disastrous conditions sure to follow.
OK, the truth is, I’m a little baffled. Even if I were not convinced that all things are to “praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created” (Psa. 148:5), I would still find those little creatures fascinating and amazing.
How can you not love something that patiently bides its time underground for years until everything is ready and the soil temperature is perfect only to emerge with three goals: (1) not get killed; (2) find a mate; (3) for the females to put the eggs somewhere. These little guys will litter much of southern Maryland with as many as 100,000 carcasses per acre, disrupting outdoors events with the carnage and a mating call equal in decibels to the sound of a Colt .45 being fired and that lasts from one to several seconds.
But I am very much committed to the idea that creation shows the glory of God and that the Father’s intent before Genesis 1:1 was for His Son to have a universe that would be a fitting platform for the widest possible display of his Son’s glory. In this creation event (a Father-Son project, if you will), the Father-Son Creation Team makes a universe and then the Father gives all created things into the hand of the Son (Col. 1:16 – “…all things were made by Him and for Him”).
I am posting these thoughts on a “missions” blog site because I am convinced that this is the very heart of missions. Before God could be called “Creator,” He was called “Father”. In fact, before creating anything, the Father was on a mission to give His Son the broadest exposure possible. His thinking, perhaps was, “My beloved Son is so extraordinary that it’s a shame that He does not have a universe appropriate for putting Him on display; and I am so pleased with His loving character that He really should have billions of opportunities to display His love for creatures made in His image who can respond to Him and love Him in return.” THIS IS THE FATHER’S MISSION!
Which brings us to The Cicada Worship Team. It doesn’t take knowledge of Hebrew or a great intellect to read Psalm 148-150, nor does it take a lot of time (I read it in less than 3 minutes and I wasn’t even out of breath). What those psalms indicate to us is that in the created order, there is a lot of stuff that is to knock our socks off and show how incredible the Father-Son Creation Team really was.
I love to imagine conversations that God has that we’re not told about (please allow me a little bit of creative license here…). Pretend it’s that moment in the creation event when the Father turns to the Son and says, “I have an idea for something that is so off the charts that everything else we’ve done so far could be perceived as ordinary.”
“Really? What’s that, Father?” says the Son.
“Well,” the Father responds, “I’m thinking of making a little creature that lives in the soil for 17 years. In perfect timing and when the soil is at 68 degrees, we’ll wire them to emerge, live about 4-6 weeks, mate, bury their eggs, and die.”
The Son responded by saying, “Crazy! I like it! And how about we give the males a little timbal that vibrates several hundred times per second with an intensity of about 106.7 decibels at one meter (in the 21st century, we would say that’s about as loud as a chain saw)?”
“Oh”, chimed in the Holy Spirit, “I’ve got an idea. Just to make it interesting, let’s create 2,500 various species of these guys. And let’s make different “broods” that each have their own unique cycle.”
Oh, the fun of being able to create one’s own personal universe from scratch!
Of course, this fictitious conversation is a product of my fertile imagination. But if it helps in any way in enlarging our view of God and provoking amazement at the Son’s amazing universe, then I am glad.
Yes, the remarkable Cicada Worship Team is headed our way. You may not like the tune they play, but you sure can stand in awe of the God who made them!
God is on a mission: He intends to get as much attention for His Son as is possible. We may find cicadas annoying and even disruptive, but don’t forget to think about the amazing God who dreamed them up so that his Son could have the craziest universe possible and so the universe’s residents would have unlimited opportunities to marvel at the Creator Father-God and His extraordinary Son. — Dave Shive