When it comes to the general revelation of God, the human person adds a whole new level. What do I mean? Check it out.
Praise be to the Author of Life, in the new days of Easter. Days rainy, days sunny, you bring forth the bloom in its yearly parable of resurrection. Be glorified, Lord of light and wind and water. Be glorified, Lord of life and warmth and joy. Be glorified, blessed Triune Redeemer: Father Eternal, Spirit of Mercy, Victorious Son. Be praised and glorified now and forever—Amen.
Almighty God, you fill the Earth with your glory as you fill the horizon with morning light. The clouds proclaim your beauty in their colorful parade, and even bare tree boughs reddened with sunrise and the dull grass of winter calmly reflect your majesty. Fill this day, fill my heart, with awe before your greatness. Be glorified, Glorious One, in your world, and in your church, and in your servant today—Amen.
Almighty God, thank you for the ordinary miracle of a new day’s dawning. Thank you for the extraordinary miracle of new life in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. We marvel at the love, that you the Highest and Holiest reach down to the lost and lowliest. Thank you for the marvel of your creating, sustaining, redeeming love. Pour out your mercy on me anew today, and set me on my feet to walk before you—Amen.
Thank you, God, for the descent of dusk, the rhythm of day and night, work and rest. Thank you for quiet hours and the calm of the sleeping world beneath the silver moon and stars. Lord of luminous day, Lord of slumbering night, be glorified in each and every part of creation. Be glorified in me. When all the world is quiet, let me be quiet too and mindful of your majesty so splendid beyond all words—Amen.
Lord, your day rises and your glory is shown in all your works. Glory to you, great God of all the universe. Teach me, today, to delight myself in you; and make me to live for your delight. If I delight myself in you, I will know joy in any circumstance; if I delight you, I will realize my purpose in this your day. Give me the grace to please you in all things, and to find my highest pleasure in yourself. Give me the grace of joy, O Joy beyond all joys.
Psalm 96 extols the glory of the Lord: “For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods” (v.4, NIV). That verse may give us pause for a moment–the gods?–but then you read the next verse, “For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens” (v.5). Ah. Whatever supposed gods may be worshipped, the one true God is the Creator.
In that one verse we have the antidote to both polytheism and pantheism. There is one true God, and He is not to be confused with creation. He is exalted: “Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary” (v.6).
Though the world is not God, it belongs to God, and so the psalmist poetically exhorts creation to give forth its praise: “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy” (vv.11-12). This world exists for the praise of its Maker.
So, also, do we. God is great, and worthy of all worship. This is the high calling of all creatures, to glorify the glorious Creator. May He be praised, now and forever.
Thank you, Lord, for this world
that you have made;
for the glory of its spreading skies
and every leaf and tree
and bit of painted paradise,
green fields of morning mist-veiled
proud trees boastful with verdant plumage,
and every leaf and flower,
harbinger of that new age
and worlds renewed.
The gift of beauty prophesies
in fields and trees and spreading skies.
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
So begins–and ends–the 8th Psalm. Bookmarked by this exultation, David marvels a the greatness of God’s creation; and especially how, in light of this greatness, God has given such honor to human beings, who are nothing next to Him.
We’re inclined to make our achievements a source of pride. Mastery over the created environment perhaps more typically makes humans see ourselves as large. But the psalmist finds humility even in rulership. Seeing that God has given people headship over the created world directs David’s thoughts not to the greatness of humans–glorious among creatures–but of God, our incomparable Creator.
He is glorious. What a wonder is this created cosmos we live in, how exquisitely crafted from the tiniest of molecular details to the spreading vastness of galaxies. And He is gracious from the very first, giving His human creatures headship over the world He made, despite our smallness.
The intertwined excellences of God’s power and grace that are showcased in the drama of redemption display themselves even in creation. This is the might and character of the Holy One.