Tuesday, October 4, 2016

All Creatures of our God and King: Praise on the Feast of Saint Francis!

“All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing.
O praise Him! Hallelujah!”
            -William Henry Draper

Based on Francis of Assisi’s hymn, Canticle of the Creatures, “All Creatures of our God and King” calls on all nature to worship God.

Francis of Assisi saw the cosmic reality of all creation praising God. He recognized the value in each human being and each living creature. Much of Francis’ personal prayer time was spent in the woods and fields of central Italy. From 40-day retreats in the mountains above Assisi, to solitary prayer in praise to God half the night in the forest, Francis met the Creator in the beauty of creation.

The Psalms are filled with rivers clapping their hands and mountains singing for joy. These are more than mere personification in the Scripture. Rather, such images reflect the eternal reality that every bit of creation was made to praise its Creator. Indeed, in time all of nature will erupt in worship to God, as Jesus said, “the rocks themselves will cry out!” (Luke 19:40). Psalm 148 (NIV) declares:

Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.
. . .
Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and women,
    old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.

Today let us join with Francis—and countless believers over the centuries—who have found nature to be a wonderful sanctuary in which to meet God. Let us soak in the beauty that surrounds us and praise the Author of Beauty for his wonderful gift to us in creation!

2016 © Glenn E. Myers
This series is Creation Proclaiming God’s Divine Nature, as Romans 1:20 declares, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

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