If you think of glory as light, it is bright; we are amazed and blinded in its presence.
Love, though, is warm; we are invited to enter it, to be enveloped by its welcome.
Imagine these two portions of the spectrum coming together, one bleeding into the other, each becoming part of the other. You find it hard to distinguish them as separate.
Now think of God.next >
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host! Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created. He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed. Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!
Psalm 148:1-10next >
Favorite late night talk show hosts in order are: Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, and David Letterman. Conan is a natural, Kimmel jokes around with kids, and Letterman has a top ten list. There is something about a top ten list that makes you pay attention.
The psalmist in today’s passage has a list, too. It is longer than ten, but it beckons the reader to pay attention. Angels, sun and moon, the stars, highest heavens and waters, even sea creatures: everything is called to praise the Lord. It is like a pep rally for all of God’s creation — hands in the air; let’s go and praise the Lord!
Fire and hail, snow and frost, and creeping things: yes, even the weather and insects are included in this list. All of God’s creation is designed to praise God.
Today’s passage teaches us something, and it just might be this: let us pay attention to the beauty in God’s creation. For in God’s creation we can see the glory of God, and praise the Lord.
Aram Baenext >
God the Creator, help me to see the glory of you in all of creation. I thank you for the ways your love and beauty surround me. Help me to pay attention so that I can witness your glory and praise you, too.next >
God the Creator, guide my heart and fill it with kindness and gentleness.
God the Redeemer, clear my mind and focus me with mercy and grace.
God the Sustainer, steady my soul and convict it with justice and truth.
As you bless me today with your glory and love, may I bless others too.
Aram Bae is director of family ministries at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in the heart of Manhattan. She’s writing her dissertation on youth ministry and in her next life would like to be Anthony Bourdain. She’s a northerner by location but a southern gal at heart; nothing makes her smile bigger than a plate of fried chicken, barbeque, and collard greens. Cornbread sweetens the pot, too!
Turn Your Eyes