All the Works of God
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved
Psalm 145:10-18 — The Message
Creation and creatures applaud you, God;
your holy people bless you.
They talk about the glories of your rule,
they exclaim over your splendor,
Letting the world know of your power for good,
the lavish splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal;
you never get voted out of office.
God always does what he says,
and is gracious in everything he does.
God gives a hand to those down on their luck,
gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.
All eyes are on you, expectant;
you give them their meals on time.
Generous to a fault,
you lavish your favor on all creatures.
Everything God does is right—
the trademark on all his works is love.
God’s there, listening for all who pray,
for all who pray and mean it.
This Psalmist/King David/Head Temple Poet
certainly did some reflection
on nature and the surrounding world.
In my time,
at my desk,
and for my congregation,
I am led to ask the questions,
what/who are these creatures
the writer hears praising the works of God,
and how does this writer understand what they are saying?
Some of course are humans,
but some are not.
Some speak languages he understands,
some do not.
But I do not think this
is just a matter of simple observation.
I think that there is a kind of resonance
going on here.
It takes a sorrowful and wounded heart
that has been
moved by wonder and love
to recognize wonder and love.
It takes a person
who has learned and knows well
the language of praise
to have ears that can
hear it, comprehend it and reflect on it.
It takes a person
has been filled by love
and who engages in
an exultant glorification about life
to recognize exultant glorification when it’s going on.
I wrote a Honky-Tonk song years ago
that has a line that goes,
“My heart’s on empty,
and it’s runnin’ on the fumes of memory,
of those better times we had so long ago…”
A heart that’s runnin’ on the fumes of memory
is going to find it difficult
to recognize the jubilant adoration
going on around it
as anything other
than salt to their own wounds.
The Psalmist writes that
“…the trademark on all God’s works
and for the many who
day in and day out
only experience love’s opposite,
it is going to be hard
to recognize love when it is presented.
I have actually been told,
and you have heard things like this as well,
that I should not express my joy
at being married for as long as I have
because it makes those who haven’t been
or are divorced
I not celebrate Mother’s Day or Father’s Day,
and maybe cut back on my exuberance
Thanksgiving and Christmas
because of those who have had losses
that become more poignant at those times.
Hearts on empty
do not understand hearts overflowing with joy,
and many times resent the joy of others.
Yet, while we should try and be empathic
to the suffering of the wounded,
we should in no way curb
our own enthusiasm and joy
for the lives we have
because we are worried
that our joy will rub pain into someone else.
Recognizing that we all have suffered,
the question for us is,
how much does
our pain inhibit
the possibility of our experiencing joy?
The time has come
for God’s trademark of love
to overwhelm us,
fill the emptiness of our hearts,
and teach us the
lavish and extravagant and expectant language
The time has come for love.