Praise the LORD from the earth,
sea monsters and all ocean depths;
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
strong winds that obey his command.
Praise him, hills and mountains, fruit trees and forests;
all animals, tame and wild,
reptiles and birds.
Read Psalm 148
Christian worship in the modem world has its focus on the praise of God by his people. This is in contrast to the very literal understanding that God’s people of the Old Testament had. Not only were his people called to praise him, but, as this psalm illustrates, the whole universe and all within it, were to praise their creator.
Let’s step outside of our analytical world for a minute and take a lesson from the Old Testament. Put aside your scientific explanation of the weather and imagine the lightning and thunder booming out their praise to God, the winds rushing to do his bidding. Open your eyes to the trees of the forest (or of your backyard) with their branches lifted upwards in praise to their creator. Open your ears to the birds carolling their early morning chorale to God.
This is God’s world, and you are a precious part of it! Raise your heart, mind and voice, together with that of the universe and the creatures within it, and ‘the Lord’.
Open my eyes, O God, that I may see your hand in the world around me, and that I, together with all the creatures and elements of the universe, may praise you. Amen.
by Anne Maczkowiack, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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