Sunday, January 01, 2012

The Absent Voice

I was reading Psalm 148 this morning. It is the psalmist’s call to praise God and he calls not just to people sitting in a pew on a Sunday morning to praise God, but to the whole created cosmos. The heavens and the earth are summoned to join the song of praise.

“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.” (Psalm 148:1-4)

There are many examples throughout the Bible of angels praising God. Some of them are before God’s throne constantly singing His praise and declaring His holiness. It’s not so easy to see how the sun, moon and stars praise God. Not all praise is audible, although that doesn’t mean that the stars are silent by any means.

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4)

In the praise that rises from heaven and earth to God’s throne – God hears every distinct voice. He hears the song of a single star in a galaxy of millions many thousands of light years away from earth. He hears the single note struck by one raindrop in the melody of a shower. He can identify the tune of a single sparrow in the dawn chorus. He would know if it was missing.

In among the cacophony of angels and stars, whale song and dolphin clicks, lightning and storms, lambs bleating and dogs barking, nightingales and song thrush – God hears my voice – my own distinctive song of praise.

He listens out for me.

Among the angel anthems
And songs from stars on high
And melodies from deep sea whales
And birds that fill the sky

He listens for my single voice
Unique among the throng
That soars throughout the heavens
To sing salvation’s song

My soul why are you silent?
My tongue – why are you still?
Where is the praise that tumbles out
To heaven’s temple fill?

My eyes so fixed on circumstance
His splendour cannot see
He shifts my gaze toward the Cross
It shouts its victory

I sing, His precious sparrow
In sunlight or in shade
The glories of the Great I Am
Through heaven and earth displayed

(c) Mel Kerr Jan 2012

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