When we praise our Creator, we worship the most magnificent of artists. We worship the potter who formed humankind from the fertile soil (Genesis 2:7), molding us like clay (Isaiah 64:8). When we look to the skies we can revel in the moon and stars, work of the fingers of God (Psalm 8:3). The heavens tell a story of this creative genius, day to day pouring forth speech and nightly declaring knowledge (Psalm 19:2). The firmament itself proclaims the handiwork of the Divine Artist (Psalm 19:1).
Creation praises through the very act of being. By disrupting the created order and holy cycles of being with wastefulness, misuse and greed, we interfere with creation’s ability to praise. When we fill the skies with pollution, how are they to proclaim clouded with smog and poisons? When we contribute to the warming of our planet, how will hail, snow and frost fulfill their command? (Psalm 148:8) When we fill oceans with plastic, how will the creatures of the deep sing out in joy? (Psalm 148:7)
We called to sing to the Lord alongside all the earth (Psalm 96). After all, of all the incredible creations at the hands of God, who are we that God would be mindful of us? (Psalm 8:4) And God is not only mindful but has made a place in this world for every beautiful creature. Every wild animal of the forest, the cattle on a thousand hills, the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field God claims (Psalm 50:10-11). Each of us, even the smallest of sparrows (Psalm 104), are a product of divine creativity, known completely and beloved in God’s sight. How different might our care for that created and sustained by God radically change if we truly embraced the beauty of all that that continues to live and move and breathe through God? After all, our God is no one-time Creator but rather the Creative Sustainer.
We too, are called into the holy act of co-creating with God. From our creation, we were made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26) as those who foster life in the world. The psalmist exalts God’s perpetual co-creation declaring,
“You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness. The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy” (Psalm 65).
The river of God is overflowing to sustain the earth and all its creatures, watering all that thirsts abundantly (Psalm 104:17). God continues to cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart (Psalm 104:14-15). Humans are an integral part of this web of creation and God provides not only what is necessary but imparts creative goodness abundantly.
God’s abundant creation and gracious sustaining power pour over like the water that fed the cedars of Lebanon (Psalm 104:16). Tributaries of God’s coursing river rush to pour out through the waters of baptism bubbling over from the font and into the world. May these springs of gracious love gush forth in all the valleys in our world, flowing between the hills of false notions of scarcity in a world of abundance and idols of dominion over others, giving drink to all who thirst (Psalm 104:10-11), including the land herself. So too may faithfulness spring up from the ground, and righteousness look down from the sky (Psalm 85:11).
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