Monday, March 21, 2016

Let Everything Praise the Lord

This past weekend my husband and I were treated to a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago thanks to my daughter and her husband. The highlight was the National Parks movie that was playing at the Omnimax theater.

Over the years, our family has visited and camped at many of our National Parks so many of the scenes were familiar to us. We enjoy being outdoors and love the quiet beauty of hiking and camping in the various parks. Although our love for the outdoors began with the mountains, we have come to enjoy the variety of landscapes, wildlife, and vistas that different regions and habitats offer. Personally I would have a very hard time identifying one particular park as my favorite. The swampy Everglades have very little in common with the semi-arid Badlands or the snowy heights of Glacier, but each has its own beauty and wonder.

As the movie began in this museum that celebrates human curiosity and achievement, I quickly recognized the instrumental music as Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. As scenes of parks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite swept by in this gigantic domed theater, my emotions overwhelmed me. It was as if I was witnessing the words of Psalm 148, a psalm that calls the entire creation to praise the LORD.

And this is as it should be. In a setting where it was likely that if they knew the word at all the majority of persons considered ‘hallelujah’ as merely an expression of joy, the creation itself seemed to pick up what those made in the image of the Creator were unable to do saying “praise the LORD.”  On this Palm Sunday weekend, it was as if the very rocks were crying out.