Part of the daily lectionary (#PCUSA) quite often, Psalm 148 - here's a piece of it that caught my attention this morning:
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
For the Psalmist, EVERY voice is important - sea monsters, snow and frost, cedars, wild animals, creepy things, kings, peoples, princes, the young and the old, women and men … and everything else.
Herein I find reason to care for my environment, which is, finally, the entire global eco system …
When a species is lost to wanton human behavior, a voice of praise is forever silenced, and the choir of praise is diminished, and while we might be oblivious to the missing voice, God knows that a joyful sound is missing.
Mountains and hills, too, and I think of mountain-top removal coal mining in West Virginia and oil drilling in the Niger Delta - where the earth suffers cruelly, and though the people there lament loss of home and habitat, those making wanton decisions for profit silence the earth, condemning the earth to sorrow, and there is no praise from the ground and water, but only tears.
And to the kings and princes and rulers of the world, whatever pride of place may infect their thinking, their voices are simply part of the choir, right along with wild beasts and stormy wind. If there's ever a prescription for the sins of pride and power, this is it.
Let all the voices of God's choir have their place and their part … the vast choir of God's creation deserves to sing, and when God created humankind, it was only, God hoped, to create a creature that could provide life-sustaining care for the choir, so that all of creation might sing with joy.
Praise the LORD!