Daily Worship

The Ever-New Praise for Heaven and Earth

May 16, 2022 1
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Image credit: Unsplash

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!

Praise of heaven and earth is the cosmic theme of this Psalm. Verses 1 states, “Praise the Lord from the heavens”. Then follows an inventory of heavenly creatures called to praise God, including the angels, the sun, moon, stars and the highest heavens, including the waters above the heavens. Then verse 7 reads, “Praise the Lord from the earth,” and again another inventory follows, containing sea monsters, deep oceans, lightning, hail, snow and wind, followed by mountains, trees, animals and birds, and finally humans. Significantly, humans are just one of the many heavenly and earthly creatures called to worship and praise the Lord. For all are called to praise God.

How do the stars and mountains, and so on, worship the Lord? By being mountains with all their height, steepness and ruggedness. Similarly, the stars praise God by being stars, burning brightly with all their nuclear energy, like our sun, white dwarfs and black holes, etc. Likewise, we humans worship God by being human to the full extent of what that means. Thus, we, as human beings, are made to worship and praise God by working together with the earth and the heavens, using our God given ability to cooperate with God to care for, renew and transform our earthly environment sustainably and creatively, bringing glory to God, the creator and sustainer of the whole created order.

 

PRAYER:

 

Lord, enable us to become fully human. So that we might genuinely worship you and work with you for the renewal of the whole of the created order to the praise of your name. Amen.