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!
Nature speaks a different language than we do. It’s one that we can sometimes tap into and understand, but that very few of us take the time to study in depth. Perhaps you are one of the people who speak ‘conversational’ nature. You can speak a smattering of ‘tree’, a few words of ‘mountain’, or maybe a sentence or two of ‘sea’. Many of us speak ‘pet’ at a beginners level but very few speak even intermediate ‘wild’.
You could say that it’s hardly our fault, nature doesn’t have very good handwriting after all.
But is that true? If we look beyond the lines and dots of the alphabet (that we humans scribble and type onto countless sheets of ex-nature…) is nature’s writing — quite literally — on the wall? Each patch of moss thriving on stone walls, each tree root strongly uprooting a heavy handed pathway, each bird of prey finding roost in a skyscraper. Nature writes us a loud story even as we try to contain it. It writes about growth and new life, it writes praises to God from the shore, to the mountains, and beyond.
Dear God of nature,
Thank you that you have gifted us with such a clear example of how to praise you
Help us to care for the world you have made for us
Guide us this year as we work towards the health of our planet and ourselves