“Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, you are very great!..
You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills;
they give drink to every beast of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
they sing among the branches…
O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great…
These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things…
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground…
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord…
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!” Psalm 104:1,11-12,24-25,27-28,33-35
A dark grey fin pencilled in serpentine through the blue water, a young flat sand shark gliding its way toward the bay. An osprey zeroed down to poke the surface, popped up to rise in hungry, graceful flight, a stunned fish dangling from its talons. A cheery cardinal sang and flitted among glossy sea grapes as a school of striped sheepshead darted beneath. A woodpecker chirped attention to its regal profile against a noble palm, and a heron soaked in the sun. Over the course of a few early moments, a menagerie of God’s creatures greeted the morning with what they were made to do, singing in their own way His glory.
“All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voice and with us sing,
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
thou silver moon with softer gleam,
O sing ye, O sing ye, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
As unique creatures fashioned by Almighty God, we too have a purpose. Particular action, colors, talents, and callings are entrusted to us to be implemented, honed, and exercised in the chorus of His kingdom. The greater, more exuberant our voice, the richer the music in God’s ears and for the world to notice and desire.
Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship Him in humbleness,
To God all thanks and praise belong!
Join in the everlasting song:
O sing ye, O sing ye, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!” ~St. Francis of Assisi (1225)
How deliberate am I each day to ask where my Lord would have me sing, then take time to listen for His answer? Am I faithful to His character in executing my calling, and willing to rejoice when others fulfill theirs differently? Do I get stuck in old tired refrains and refuse new ideas, methods, melodies? How clearly does my life song reflect His beauty and purpose, and robustly encourage others to join?
“All people that on earth do dwell,
sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Serve him with joy, his praises tell,
come now before him and rejoice!” ~William Kethe (1500s)