The prayer I share today voices praise of God's greatness, a deep respect for creation, and an acknowledgment of the way in which all parts of that creation join together as they praise their Creator and help us to better understand Jesus. This "Canticle of Creation" invites us to see ourselves as members of the innumerable-member choir that is singing this song of praise.

Before sharing the prayer, here are some thoughts it brought to mind for me.

All Created Things

This particular telling of the creation story, in which God's fullness "explodes" the world into existence through word, helps us experience the story of creation with fresh ears. God's spoken word is transformed into a billion different "bits and pieces:" stars, mountains, creatures of all kinds. Out of God's breath and voice comes into being forms that are too variable and too numerous to count. And yet, all of them are in direct relationship to their Creator for they are all, in some way, manifestations of the character and being of God.

All created things are the particular being they are because of the one who created them; they bear the mark of their Creator. God spoke all of creation into being, (including us, but not exclusively us), making us kin with all of creation. If we fail to agree with God's proclamation that "all were good," we do not honor either the creation or the Creator as we should.

Every aspect of creation has a way of praising God. When we listen to these other voices, audible or not, we learn about God. We can learn something about God by listening to the cedar's praise that cannot be learned in any other way. Each voice, each creature has a part to play.

Singing Harmony

We are not meant to sing a solo song of praise. Harmony requires more than one voice and more than one part. By listening carefully to the voices of other parts of creation, we become better able to understand what parts other creatures are singing and more capable of blending our voice with theirs. As we join our song to theirs, we should do so in a way that is not overbearing, but also isn't apathetic or reluctant. We are to listen and not merely sing; we are to sing and not merely listen; both actions are needed. When we sing in harmony with the rest of creation, we, in that way, fulfill our intended part in the great praise that the Creator sings to its Creator.

As you pray this "Canticle of Creation," may you come away with a stronger sense of harmony with the other voices singing God's praise. May the deeper knowledge of that community of creation and of Jesus, God's Living Word, bring joy to you and glory and honor to God.

Canticle of Creation

In the beginning, Lord my God,
     You alone existed: eternally one
     yet pregnant in the fullness of unity.
Full to overflowing,

     You, Father of All Life, exploded outward
     in a billion bits and pieces.
Your word became flesh,
     whirling in shining stars, shimmering suns
     and in genesis glimmering galaxies.

You, my God, spoke
     and Your Words became flesh:
     in sun and moon, earth and seas,
     mountains and gentle hills,
     rolling rivers and silent streams.

You, my God, spoke
     and Your Words became flesh:
     in winged bird, in deer and elephant,
     in grazing cow, racing horse, and fish of the deep.
Your Words, so unique and so varied,
     filled the earth also with rabbit, squirrel and ant.
And all Your Words were beautiful,
     and all were good.

From each of these Holy Words
     arose a prayer of praise and adoration
          to You, their creator
          and wondrous womb.
'Praise You," rang out the redwood,
     "Blessed be You," chimed in the cedar,
     "Holy are You," prayed the prairie grasses.
From all four corners of this earth,
     rose up a chorus of perpetual adoration.

O Sacred Spirit, O Divine Breath of Life,
     unseal my ears that they may ever listen
     to Your continuous canticle of creation;
     open my heart and my whole self,
     to sing in harmony with all its many voices.
Teach me to commune with Your first Word made flesh,
Your creation, that I may be able to unravel the wondrous words
Of Your second Word made flesh, Jesus,
through whom, with whom, and in whom,
I may see myself as another Word of Yours made flesh,
To Your glory and honor.


Author Unknown

Reflection Question: Is there something from this prayer that you would like to carry with you into the start of this new year? Are there specific ways you want to "listen" or "sing in harmony" in this coming year?

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