Read His Words Before Ours!
The middle of the orchestra was a wonderful place to be.
Sitting there in the center of the woodwind section, I was captivated by the different sounds all around me: the delicate melody of the violins, quiet at first but gradually growing, the rich harmony of the violas and cellos supporting it, the driving rhythm of the double basses underpinning it all.
Everything was perfectly balanced.
Then the horns and trombones came in adding warmth and strength, then the volume increased until finally, as the choir began singing, the percussion section exploded with rhythm. The brilliance of the trumpets added a joy and vibrancy which lifted the whole thing to a new level.
As I sat there, listening to the music all around me, I was caught up in worship, longing to join in and be part of it until, finally, my entry approached, and I lifted my clarinet to join them, playing my part in the song.
As I read the lyrics of the hymn “All Creatures Of Our God And King,” I picture a similar scene as all creation joins together in praise to God. As with the instruments in an orchestra, there is rich variety but also unity of purpose and, while each individual line has its own beauty, they combine to create something even greater.
The “burning sun with golden beam” lighting the darkness and providing warmth, the “silver moon with softer beam” gentle and peaceful, accompanied by thousands of shining stars which point to the vastness of God, the “rushing wind that art so strong” displaying God’s power and might.
That’s not even to mention the majesty of the mountains, the stunning beauty of the sea, the attention to detail shown in the intricacy of the tiniest flowers and creatures.
Each aspect of creation points to its Creator. As David writes:
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of His hands.” (Psalm 19:1)
Psalm 148 is a call to praise God. One by one the different parts of creation are invited to join the song: the heavens, the skies, the angels, the sun, moon and stars, ocean creatures, wind and snow, and animals large and small…
I’m left with the same longing to be a part of it,
until finally our turn comes:
“Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all judges of the earth,
young men as well as young women,
old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for His name alone is exalted.” (Psalm 148:11-13)
We are not called just to listen and appreciate God’s creation,
but to join in and play our part in this symphony of praise.
Romans 12 makes it clear that worship, the part we are to play, is not only about our words, but about our lives: presenting our bodies “as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” This is our “true worship.” (Romans 12:1)
The hymn gives some examples of what that might look like in practice:
“And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!
O praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”
As creation points to God, we are called to do the same: reflecting God’s character in our compassion and forgiveness towards others, demonstrating our trust in His love and faithfulness in the way we turn to Him and trust Him through times of trial and difficulty.
The hymn also calls us to remember our place, to “worship Him in humbleness.”|
We are to come before Him, acknowledging that He is the Creator and we are the creatures, that it is only because of Him that we exist, and that our purpose is to praise and honor Him.
Our little individual lines are only one small part
of the great symphony of God’s creation.
When you play in an orchestra, it is important to know whether your line is melody or accompaniment. Is your part meant to be the prominent one at this particular moment, or is your line there to add depth and color to someone else’s melody? If one part is too timid, or too overbearing, the outcome is disappointing, but when you work together and follow the direction of the conductor, the result is beautiful!
If we approach God with that same attitude of humility, knowing our place, focused on loving Him and loving others,
the result will be sweet-sounding music that glorifies His name.
We may only be one small part of the great symphony,
but it is a song of praise that will echo into eternity and never end:
“I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say, “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to the one seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!””
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!