“Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!…
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary...
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy…
The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!..
The heavens proclaim his righteousness...
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
before the Lord…
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!” Psalm 96:1,6,11-12; 97:1,6; 98:7-9; 100:1
Jeweled stars, heralded by a brighter arc of moon, dot the black backdrop of space with storytelling shapes, lauding their Maker with heavenly song. Shapeless light slowly lifts, dispels the night, invisibly imperceptibly raising dawn over spinning earth. Music of spheres and sky. Water shivers in the cold morning as trees chatter their teeth in the breeze. Singing praise. A scatter of birds floats in scoops and waves speckling palest blue, their staccato chirps punctuating the still early. More singing. Deep purple blossoms, and red, are sprinkled in lushest, wispy, varied-shaped green leaves. Harmony. Grey breakers sworl and foam at water’s edge on grainy sand strewn with heaven-shaped and -painted shells. Rivers rush pushing against edges, smoothing rocks as they sing over them with joyful current. More music.
Will we join the song?
A symphony of praise from heaven and earth swells and resounds for the Worthy One, Maker of morning, Designer of all, Architect of creation, Author and Perfector of faith, Overseer of souls.
“Joyful, joyful, we adore You,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before You,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!”
Are we singing? Do the glory and love of God not soften bitter pebbles and melt stubborn stances in our hearts? Do His indescribable beauty and limitless grace not move us to wonder and praise?
“All Your works with joy surround You,
Earth and heav’n reflect Your rays,
Stars and angels sing around You,
Center of unbroken praise;
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
Praising You eternally!”
Does the beauty of His earth and creatures not swell our senses and pluck our soul-strings? How can we not join in their heavenly chorus?
“Mortals, join the mighty chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
God’s own love is reigning o’er us,
Joining people hand in hand.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music leads us sunward
In the triumph song of life.” ~Henry Van Dyke (1907)
As mortals all, image-bearers, highest of creation, would we be swept up by our Savior’s coming into loudest songs of highest praise?
“Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let ev’ry heart prepare him room,
And heav’n and nature sing.” ~Isaac Watts (1719)
Lord, fill my heart and loosen my tongue to join the glad song of heaven and nature, rejoicing in You!