God’s Artistry

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
 praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;
 praise him, all his host!
Praise him, sun and moon;
 praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
 and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
 for he commanded and they were created.
He established them forever and ever;
 he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
 you sea monsters and all deeps,
 fire and hail, snow and frost,
 stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Psalm 148, NRSV

Recently, running along Brays Bayou, I was captivated by the beauty of the morning. As the sun was rising and the new day light was falling all around me, there was a serenity that filled the air. Listening to the water as the birds were welcoming the day with an enchanting melody, I was overcome with a sense of gratitude. “It was good.”

In the first creation story, we read how God Himself created in the darkness out of nothing. As He spoke, life itself was born bursting forth with beauty and grace. He reminds us, “It was good.”

In reading Psalm 148, I am struck by the creator God who created all things with purpose overflowing with hope. The inspiration from which artists create comes from deep within themselves. A piece of their being becomes the essence of what they produce. You can’t help but see the artist in the art. And, “It was good.”

Psalm 148 celebrates the Artist we call God. The writer calls us to separate ourselves from our neurotic and disruptive lifestyles and, if for a moment, step out into the true art gallery that we call creation. It is a space bursting with deep value and intentionality. If even for a moment, allow the words of the Psalmist to wash over you, transforming you into the one He has created you to be. The mark of the Artist is all over you and, trust me when I say, "It is good. Praise the Lord!"

Mountains and all hills,
 fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,
 creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples,
 princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike,
 old and young together!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
 for his name alone is exalted;
 his glory is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people,
 praise for all his faithful,
 for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!

The Rev. Martin J. Bastian