Have you ever seen it? The sight of thousands of birds flying together, twisting and turning in tight formation, is truly amazing. Evening seems to be the preferred time for some species to do these spectacular displays, called murmurations.
The subject of 2020’s Creation Sabbath film, “God’s Enduring Song of Love” is the murmurating of grackles. Each year a short film is produced for Creation Sabbath, designed to draw viewers’ minds to the wonder of God’s creation. These films are for personal viewing and reflection, sharing on social media, and sharing together as a group of worshipers during Creation Sabbath celebrations. This year, Creation Sabbath occurs on October 24.
Creation Sabbath falls on the fourth Sabbath of each October, a specially designated Sabbath in the Adventist Church’s Calendar of Special Days. “Creation Sabbath is expressly set aside for contemplation of God’s grace in creating our wonderful world for our habitation, recognizing our responsibility to care for what God made, and seizing the opportunity to learn from His works,” shares Timothy Standish, senior scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda, California. “It is a reminder that ‘the Sabbath was made for man’ (Mark 2:27), it is a liberating time to keep in mind that our lives are given and sustained by the Creator God whose very definition is love.”
“The creation may be marred by sin, but it remains a beautiful testimony to God’s power and divinity (Romans 1:20),” says Mark Paden, who produced “God’s Enduring Song of Love.” Paden used his skills as a filmmaker to capture the remarkable footage used in “God’s Enduring Song of Love” showing grackles murmurating at sunset in Texas. Getting the perfect conditions took an artist’s eye and many hours traveling to the ideal location.
“Good nature videography takes persistence and an innate love of the creation, the rest is up to God,” says Paden, who has an extensive resume as a nature filmmaker and photographer. “I’m just glad to see my work used in praise of the Creator.”
“During these unsettling times, God’s creation provides peace, joy and hope,” says Standish. “Jesus frequently taught lessons about His Kingdom using illustrations from the creation. Can anyone look at birds’ beauty, diversity and amazing engineering and not recall that the words, ‘don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows’ (Matthew 10:31) came directly from our Creator’s lips?”
Watch the English version of “God’s Enduring Song of Love,” above (click here for the Spanish version, or here for several other languages). It will also be available on Hope Channel and through other Adventist media. For more information and resources to celebrate Creation Sabbath or to help promote it, visit creationsabbath.net.
Information provided by the Geoscience Research Institute, a Seventh-day Adventist organization in Loma Linda, California.