“Praise the Lord, O my soul” Psalm 104:1
I was walking back home after my afternoon and evening shift at the care home where I work part-time in the kitchen. From a tree ahead a robin sang with its liquid song creating more sound than I feel you could ever expect from such a small creature. A few feet away on my right a blue tit made its contribution to the evening chorus with typical chutzpah.
Zoologists and animal ethologists can, I expect, give an evolutionary rationale to their song. I don’t dispute their wisdom, but I believe there’s another wisdom. The Psalmist describes how “the birds of the air nest by the waters: they sing among the branches … in the cedar of Lebanon the birds make their nests. The stork has its home in the pine trees” (Psalm 104). The psalm begins, “Praise the Lord, O my soul” and the whole context is of God’s creation praising him, simply by being what it is and doing what it does. So, in my book, that robin and that blue tit were praising God in their song, and they were doing it with great confidence and beauty.
Human beings do feature in that psalm, if somewhat incidentally. Perhaps we’re a bit more awkward at praise than the robin and the blue tit.
We praise God when we are what God made us to be and do what he made us to do. Doesn’t that include using our song, our words, our voices, and learning to become more confident about it – like those birds in their evening chorus.
This reflection was written by Andy Jowitt, for the Wild Christian email, ‘Nature and Praise.’ Andy is our Volunteer Community Engagement Officer at Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve.