All Creatures Praise the Lord

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Psalm 148

Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created. (v. 5)

Can sea monsters and cedars, snakes and sandpipers give praise to God? What is it with all this talk of nonhuman creatures praising God? Is it just a figure of speech, personification? Is it the reenchantment of nature? Perhaps this is just an example of the psalmist getting a bit carried away.

This joyous psalm is an invitation calling on all creatures – in heaven and on earth – to offer praise to God the Creator and Redeemer. Angels and shining stars . . . Mountains and fruit trees . . . Humans young and old, women and men, royalty and paupers . . . all creatures are called upon to sing praise to God.

This creational doxology is not commanded. It is not sought by appeal to duty or obligation. Praise is simply fitting, right, appropriate for creatures given life and redeemed by a loving God. So, says the psalmist, let’s sing. Each of us in our own creaturely way, let’s join in the hymn of praise. It’s a natural response of gratitude to God’s ever present grace. By how we live and what we do let’s join in the hymn of praise to a God of unfathomable love. Alleluia! Praise the Lord!

PRAYER

O God of grace and God of glory, may our lives be songs of praise to you.