Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!
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 And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!
When she was a teenager, my grandmother was a nanny for a wealthy couple in Kansas City. When the armistice for the first world war was declared on November 11, 1918, her employers ran out into the street to celebrate. They did not come home for three days. They must have had a great deal of confidence in that young woman who was watching their children.
The psalmist wants everyone to get in on the celebration he is calling for. He starts at the top of the cosmos with angels and the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, and stars. He calls on the great sea creatures (whales?) and even the elements to join him: fire, hail, snow, and mist. The mountains, the hills, the beasts, and the birds. Even the creeping things get an invite. The whole of humanity is invited, from kings on down, even the children too.
This huge party is because God has raised a horn for his people. Did you think that a rather strange reason to call for a huge party? Good, then you were reading this psalm carefully. It is a strange reason for a cosmic party. I mean I like horns and all, but really, a horn raising party!? At least my grandmother’s employers were celebrating the end of a brutal war. What can he mean? In the ancient world a horn was the symbol of strength. To raise up a horn for his people is to make them strong again. What can that be but Jesus raising us from death to life? All creation rejoices in what God has done for you. Join them today! Rejoice in God’s resurrection for you.