Wednesday, September 10, 2008

All Creatures indeed

On Tuesday evenings, I attend the Presbyterian Student Fellowship worship at Vanderbilt. I currently serve on the campus ministry board, and figure I have more time and energy than money to donate to college students. As a pastor, Sunday mornings aren't always the most worshipful time, so I value the opportunity to simply go and be a member of the congregation.

Last night, for one of our opening songs, we sang a contemporary guitar-ey All Creatures of Our God and King. As best as I can recall, here are the lyrics we sang:

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O praise him, alleluia
Thou burning sun with golden beam
Thou silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in heaven along
O praiseHim, alleluia
Thou rising moon in praise rejoice
Ye lights of evening find a voice
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Let all things their Creator bless
And worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him, alleluia
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
And praise the Spirit, Three in One
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In recent years, this has become one of my favorite hymns. I love the imagery of the entirety of creation praising God by singing alleluia in a myriad of voices and sounds. As the service progressed, the alleluias kept bouncing around in my brain, and then, during the minutes of silent reflection following the sermon, I became aware of the chorus of insects, tree frogs, and other creepy crawlies just outside the windows of the room where we were worshiping. In that moment, I heard those voices as insect alleluias. As the sun with golden beam was receding for the evening and sun with softer gleam was preparing to take its position in the sky, those creatures in the trees outside were worshiping God in humbleness, offering up the only voice they have in sweet alleluia. That was a truly peaceful moment for me there in that wood paneled room on the campus of Vanderbilt University. I left hoping that my life might be more of an alleluia.