Daily Worship

Consider the fjords

December 30, 2019 2
ozzy_dog_jo_penn
Image credit: 'Ozzy' - Jo Penn

Psalm 148 (NRSVA)

1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his host!

3 Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
    and you waters above the heavens!

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for he commanded and they were created.
6 He established them for ever and ever;
    he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost,
    stormy wind fulfilling his command!

9 Mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
    creeping things and flying birds!

11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
    princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike,
    old and young together!

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
    praise for all his faithful,
    for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!

In Douglas Adams’ book ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, Slartibartfast designs planets. His favourite elements are baroque-style fjords because of their frilly coastlines.

I wonder what your favourite landscape is and how it speaks to you of God’s amazing creativity and care for the world?

I have had the privilege of living for nine years within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and have seen the seasons mapped out on the landscape: in the changing birds at the bird-feeder; in the trees; and in the life cycle of flocks of sheep in local fields.

The skies are truly amazing, full of variety, with the myriad of stars revealed at night-time, amazing sunsets and the joy of rainbows’ fragile palette against the darkened clouds.

O God,
my Maker and Shaper,
may I stop to watch the wonder
of this world that You’ve created,
and not rush by.

Your sculptural art lives, breathes
and calls out to me to see,
to touch.
How beautiful You are.
How much delight You get
from a pine cone forming
day by day on newly grown branch tips.

The crunch of ground beneath my feet.
Waves of leaves swirl in biting wind,
and skitter on the ground;
patter out a season rhythm-song,
drums for the river’s tune.

In Spring the Curlew calls,
sound swoops and gurgles as through water.
In Summer, a Bat aflit in dusky sky seeks out its roost,
a Hedgehog skitters over tarmac path
and tip-toes off into the night.
But now, this singing morning
praises You in lives full-lived,
held in Your loving gaze.

Puppy released into the opened world,
Ears awake to music of the Dale,
Smelling smells that overwhelm,
Besnozzled by the long wet grass,
with furtive snout, frantically buried deep,
appreciatively lies down, overcome with wonder,
and cannot move.

This small valley is alive with sounds of the connected earth
where the smallest fly to largest cow
are fed and watered from Your hand.

Let us praise, let us wonder,
give thanks to our Maker, our Shaper.
Show us how to live this gift,
and not rush by.