by Heather Wray
My great grandmother was a woman who loved God’s creation. Once she asked me while we sat in her sunroom eating poptarts, “Heather, do you know what song the birds are singing?” I glanced at the birds outside her window, they were dancing around her feeder and I had no clue what she was asking me. I listened to their noisy chirping and thought my Gee Gee was hearing things.
I looked at her and I answered as intelligently as possible saying “I think they must be talking about their territory or something Gee Gee.” She smiled and placed her hand on mine, “No,” she leaned in closer “no, they’re singing about God and praising him in song.”
Even though creation cannot speak we know that the rocks will cry out in praise to God. The Psalmist tells us “the sky proclaims God’s handiwork,” such a simple idea but I wonder when was the last time you or I marveled at the sky? When was the last time you or I gazed upon the heavens and thanked God for the beauty that is the sun, or the moon, or the stars? When was the last time you or I heard birds chirping and thought they were singing songs of praise?
If the birds can sing God’s praises and are aware of the joy God brings, why do we sometimes find it difficult?
In the second movement of the Psalm the psalmist explains how keeping God’s laws can bring us great joy. Someone recently told me that being a Christian hardly informed anything she did in her life. I listened with great sadness as she told me that being a Christian didn’t really change how she viewed or understood the world. It’s my hope for her, and for all of us, that being a Christian will and does change how we act, live, and understand our world. The law of God can inform our actions, teach us how to live and how to understand our world. The Psalmist tells us that knowing the Lord’s law revives us, make us wise, and gives sight to things unseen. When was the last time you or I allowed the law to revive us? When was the last time you or I looked at our Bible and thought these words are more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey? When was the last time we allowed God’s law to give us insight?
In reflecting on this Psalm may you delight in God’s handiwork, find joy in God’s law and learn to sing, like the birds, a song of praise.
Heather Wray is the Children and Youth Minister at Bethlehem UMC in Moneta, VA. She will be commissioned this June as a Provisional Deacon in the Virginia Annual Conference. Heather is passionate about inclusive ministry that recognizes the image of God in all people.