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!
Not far from the impressive ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral in Scotland, at the crest of a hill overlooking the sea, archaeologists have found the remains of what they think is the first Christian church in that part of the world. Even though the only remnants of the building are the very bottom stones of the foundation, they know it was a church. It is laid out in a very neat cross shape.
The psalmist today calls upon all creation, from Angels down to the hills, trees, and even the basic elements of nature to praise God. The fruit trees and mighty cedars are to praise the Lord. The hills and mountains join them.
The stones of that hilltop were arranged into a cross, and a building was built on top of them over 1000 years ago. Before those stones became a church, however, the weathering of the ages had broken them up and scattered them around in some random pattern. Men had worked them, and then they became an act of worship and praise. They made a cross to honor and worship that One who once hung upon a cross. Quite often we notice that God has redeemed people. And this is worthy and true. Salvation is for people. Yet, we also can read in our Bible that salvation extends beyond people. God saves the universe, the whole of creation. Thus, the psalmist calls upon all the creation to praise the Lord. Think about that the next time you are in church. The trees praise the Lord in the pews you sit upon, the massive beams which support the roof. The hills and mountains are found in the stones, steel, and concrete which makes up the structure and gave the silver for the chalice. The fields provided the linen for the altar. They are all joining you in praising the Lord.