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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 forever 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!
Glory to God in the highest,” proclaim the angels at Jesus’ birth. Birth is always a miraculous event, a happening that evokes praise for our Creator and brings forth new life.
The angels’ proclamation echoes an ancient Hebrew call to praise! In today’s passage, the psalmist exhorts all of creation to “Praise the Lord!” This summons is directed to all rulers, all people, the sun, the moon, all stars, and all creatures on the earth. God is to be praised, the psalmist tells us, because God commanded and through God’s proclamation all were created.
We are called to praise not only with our lips but through our lives, our words, and our deeds. We live in praise when we live in gratitude for all that we have received, with reverence for the sacredness of the whole of creation. We express our reverence for creation through stewardship of the gift from the One we praise. We acknowledge and respect each and every thing in the world that surrounds us. We are created to praise by giving ourselves to God’s service and walking in holiness all the days of our lives.
These sentiments sound familiar to our ears. They form a constant, recurring refrain in our faith communities. Just as the language of the psalm, from hundreds of years earlier, echoes in the words of Luke, so did Francis of Assisi sound the theme hundreds of years after Luke. Today we continue the traditions and give them new life by singing his words of praise: “All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing, O praise ye! Alleluia!” (umh, no. 62)
God, we praise your holy work. Help us bend our will in reverence to all creation, express gratitude for the life to which you have given birth, and remain dedicated to faithful stewardship in our life among all life. Amen.
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Scripture Reading from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.