by Amelia Chua
” Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.
He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that they will never pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and cattle, small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and maidens, old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.”
Sometimes living in the modern world gets to me. Last Thursday it was the traffic jam that started at 2:47 in the afternoon. On Saturday it was the computer that froze halfway through the writing of this meditation. Today it was being bounced along an advanced technological phone system for twenty-five minutes waiting for a real person who could do something to answer my call.
Though telling the stars, the snow, and the trees to praise the Lord may seem like an unusual perspective, I can relate to the author of Psalm 148. More and more, it is when I turn to nature that I feel grounded and keep a perspective on what is real. Looking up at the stars late at night, I experience the depths of the universe and remember what ‘big’ means. Catching a snowflake, I marvel at the cold and the seasons, a cycle of providence, of seeding and harvesting, of using and recycling. Straining to look up at the tip of a sequoia tree, I wonder what it has seen over its lifetime, what visions lie embedded in its rings of age.
Human beings create technology, utility, and complex systems. Often, these systems now determine out day-to-day reality. However, there is a vast difference between what will stand the test of time and what will not. God and our relationship to our Creator is still the ground of reality on which we stand. As the world swirls at ever greater speed around us, it is often nature that reminds us of what will remain.
Devotional forwarded to you by:
UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT
NCCP Ecumenical Ministry of the Church of the Risen Lord
University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC