Friday, December 27, 2013

Joy: Day 3

Joy to the world! The Lord is come: let earth receive her king;
Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing.

With “Joy to the world” in our hearts and minds, I invite you to join me in looking each of these twelve days for instances of the joy that runs through all of creation, especially through experiencing the beauty and wonder of God’s world.

Temperatures above 50 degrees today in our part of Nebraska along with a good dose of midday sun helped it feel very comfortable outside despite a fairly good breeze. In the afternoon, we walked at a lake where whatever ice had formed earlier was melting. Leaves that had been caught in the top of the ice when it had frozen had absorbed enough heat from the sun to begin melting the ice around each leaf.

It’s such an elegantly simple example of something all of us who have lived with ice and snow know, that darker surfaces absorb heat from the sun and speed the thawing of ice and snow around them. This is why the melting of Arctic ice has produced a feedback loop that has accelerated the melting: as ice melts, open water is exposed. The open water absorbs heat from the sun that would be reflected by ice. As more heat is absorbed, the melting of the ice is accelerated.

There’s some joy in knowing that we understand a lot about the science of climate change. Should the powers that be ever decide to do something significant to mitigate climate change, scientists can help to maximize that effort. But the beauty of each little depression slowly growing as the sun shone was the surest and most immediate joy, wonder enough for today.

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns; let us our songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains, repeat the sounding joy.

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