The psalmist had called on all created things to give praise to God. Since everything created was made by God and owes its existence to God, then in whatever way inanimate creation can praise, they are called upon to do so. Rocks and trees and stars and snow and rain and wind are all to bring their praise to their creator. Perhaps we can see this in part on the tumultuous Sea of Galilee when Jesus was asleep in the boat. The storm raged, but when He awoke and told it to be still, it gave Him the greatest praise of obedience.
There is another part of creation that we draw much closer to emotionally. That is the creation of other breathing things. People have adopted all manner of creatures as pets and expend a lot of love on caring for them. God even issues a clear statement in Proverbs that we are to care for the beasts we have in our care. Still, we seldom see them in terms of God praising creatures. The psalmist again raised our sights to see things differently.
Into this setting we bring the great medieval monk St. Francis of Assisi. One of my grandchildren’s favorite stories that they want me to read them is St. Francis and the Wolf. Francis is known for not only ministering to the needy of humankind but also preaching love to animal kind. While the Scriptures are not particularly supportive of all that Francis did, they do fully commend his call for all creatures of God to sing Him praises. His great hymn, “All Creatures of Our God and King”, is a paraphrase of Psalm 148. In it he reminds us that God expects the glory of praise from every created thing. They are all called upon to give Him the praise of obedience and also thanksgiving for their creation.
We can all draw joy and inspiration for our own praise as we reflect on a few of the verses from St. Francis’ song of praise.
All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing, Alleluia
Ye burning sun with golden beam, thou silver moon with softer gleam, O Praise Him, Alleluia
Thou flowing water pure and clear, make music for the Lord to hear, Alleluia
Thou fire so masterful and bright, that giveth men both warmth and light, O Praise Him, Alleluia
Let all things their Creator bless, And worship Him in humbleness, O Praise Him
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Spirit, Three in One, O Praise Him, O praise Him, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia