Our Father, The Creator

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries…

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh

This fabulous quote was used by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Donald Coggan in his commentary on Psalm 148 (BRF/Lion, 2003). Psalm 148 almost feels as if it was written by a scientist, it is so tidy in its structure – moving from the outer reaches of the universe and zooming in to the tiniest creatures.

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights above…

Praise him, sun and moon, praise him all you shining stars…

Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths…

you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all ceaders,

wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds…

Coggan says that

We are bidden to listen to the song of praise that creation sings, to join in the ongoing hymn of the universe. We are to become aware of our place in creation, of our relationship with the creator, with all creation and all created beings. This will lead to a realisation of our own littleness and yet to a realisation of the uniqueness of our humanity.

Coggan’s last point is what gets me – that I worship a God who created the universe, and I can call him ‘Father’ (daddy, even!) I can be amazed by an incredible view from the top of a mountain or by something I have seen down a microscope but I don’t have to be overwhelmed by my smallness or weakness. The one who’s responsible for the universe cares about me and enjoys my every act of worship. Worship is everything I do that’s offered to God, like a kid running to its parent with a picture for the fridge. I’m not earning something, I’m worshipping a God who already loves me. If only I could constantly keep that in mind and not get distracted by blackberries…

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