All Creation Praises God
Psalm 19 begins like this: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day, they pour forth speech; night after night, they reveal knowledge.
Have you found yourself staring up clouds in all their funny patterns and been surprised at what you see?
Have you found yourself starring up at the dark starry sky and wondering where all that light is emanating from?
Clouds, sun, moon, and stars shine down on us in arrayed glory. The very same God who placed those heavenly bodies there is the same God, the Father of Jesus who loves us as we are but way too much to leave us that way. This God loves each of personally and unconditionally. That is enough to make your head spin to wonder how that is possible. How is possible that the Creator-King of the universe loves us as much as He does. It’s a deep, transformative, transcendent mystery that we can come to know in this life, but will never quite understand.
We have not been given this world, this life to use as we want to do whatever pleases us in the moment. We are meant to be images of God in the world; we are to be gifts of God to the world and to use our life to bless others all to the glory of Our Father in Heaven. Our life is not our own it is a gift, life is a gift, life is a miracle and if we don’t give it away, it will be taken away from us. Our life, like the life of Jesus is to be broken, blessed and given away. We should live our lives as a living prayer to the God who wastes nothing, to the God of Jesus who lavishes boundless, intimate love and grace on all and calls us into relationship with the divine 3-in-1 dance.
A great first-century rabbi taught that “If you have a sapling in your hand, and someone says to you that the Messiah has come, stay and complete the planting, and then go to greet the Messiah.” Or as Martin Luther said, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” What both of these teachers are saying from different traditions is that even in the midst destruction (positive and negative) that our care our stewardship on this earth this life should be our main purpose. Plant the tree even if the world is at an end. Rob Bell says,”The story of the resurrection is about affirming or reaffirming the goodness of creation.”
This world this life as Genesis 1 emphatically declares is good, very good.
Mirabai Starr writes, “In Genesis it says that when God finished bringing every aspect of creation into being, “He saw that it was good.” The wisdom of the Abrahamic traditions would suggest that we embrace the bounty of this good earth, and yet never take more than our share of her harvest. By practicing mindfulness about what we consume, we avoid becoming mindless consumers. Small gestures of voluntary simplicity become prayers of devotion as we endeavor each day to walk lightly on the land, cultivate harmonious relationships with our fellow creatures, defend the purity of our water and our air, and glorify the Great Spirit by revering its presence in all of creation.”
Maybe praising God can be more than just singing hymns, praying, and gathering once a week in a building. Maybe we can and should praise God with our lives by being mindful, cultivating loving relationships, being kind to all we meet and to the places we live and go, by being a living prayer a living sermon.