Leafy arms of praise

In my high school grade 12 literature class, we studied the poem “Trees,” by the American poet Joyce Kilmer.  I still remember four of the lines:

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray.

I love the imagery of a tree lifting its leafy branches in prayer to God.

Psalm 104 is a splendid hymn praising God the creator.  In this psalm, not only the trees, but also the wind and water and storks and mountains and wild asses and goats and lions and sun and moon and darkness praise God.  Even the Leviathan—that dangerous sea monster, representing the dark forces of chaos—knows its Creator.  It splashes around like a toddler in a wading pool under the serene, benevolent gaze of God.

But God is not detached from the creation, the Psalmist says.  God is engaged with it as its sustainer, continually breathing into it life.    And God acts to renew the creation, and one day will free it completely from its “bondage to decay” (Rom. 8:21).

Our worship at Ball’s Falls this Sunday, June 22, will allow us to experience first-hand the glories of God’s creation.  It will invite us to remember the God who has created everything.

As we gaze at those trees with their uplifted arms, let us also consider raising our arms and hearts in praise and thanks to God, who created, sustains and renews the world, including us.

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