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Friday, July 25, 2014

Let earth’s wide circle round
in joyful notes resound:
may Jesus Christ be praised!
Let air and sea and sky
from depth to height reply:
may Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this, while life is mine,
my canticle divine:
may Jesus Christ be praised!
Be this the eternal song
through all the ages long:
may Jesus Christ be praised!

     The German hymn “When Morning Gilds the Skies” c. 1800
     from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

This beautiful hymn was written more than 200 years ago, yet its message rings relevant. Our hope as Christians is that praising the name of Jesus Christ is an eternal song, sung through all the ages by the whole creation. Moreover, we pray that such praise is also the song of our days for as long as we live.

Many aspects of God’s creation—snow-covered mountains, colorful canyons, fields of sunflowers, dense forests, deep blue lakes and oceans, cool air, and voluminous clouds—lift our hearts to praise God as their beauty, power, and wonder draw forth our awe and adoration.

Even on days when our own lives are bowed down, creation displays the handiwork of God. We find comfort as the whole cosmos glorifies God, even when we personally find it hard to be joyful. It is also important to recognize that praising Jesus Christ is not the same as feeling happy.

To praise Jesus Christ, even in the midst of pain, is a choice of faith we make to declare that Jesus Christ reigns supreme and extends everlasting love to the whole universe.

“From you is born all ruling will, the power and life to do, the song that beautifies all—from age to age renews. To you belongs each fertile function: ideals, energy, glorious harmony—during every cosmic cycle. . . . Out of you, the vital force producing and sustaining all life, every virtue. . . . Out of you the astonishing fire, the birthing glory, returning light and sound to the cosmos. . . . Again and again, from each universal gathering—of creatures, nations, planets, time, and space—to the next. Truly—power to these statements—may they be the ground from which all my actions grow: sealed in trust and faith.” Amen. 
Prayer from “A Celebration of Cosmic Renewal” by Neil Douglas-Klotz

Reflection written by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission

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