I wrote this, about Psalm 96, but in the end didn’t fit. So I cut it out. I hate having to do that. But I like it; so have an outtake from the Christmas Day Sermon, about God’s care for the non-human creation as well as the human.
Because of this promise, of light and joy and peace and justice, today’s psalm calls all of humanity to rejoice and praise God, even when God comes in judgement. The nations, all the peoples, are called to worship the Lord. And not merely human beings; the whole creation, the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that fills it, the lands and all they bear, and the trees of the forest, all the non-human creation is called to join humanity in our praise. At God’s coming God will judge not only the peoples but also the earth with righteousness and with truth, and this will be good news not just for oppressed human beings who need God to speak for them, but lands and trees and animals. The broad-faced potoroo and the Tasmanian tiger, the Paradise parrot and the Lord Howe boobook, the Illawarra zieria and the swamp lily, will all have their day in court. The Psalm reminds us that God’s love and concern is not simply for human beings, but for all of God’s creation, and at God’s coming all of the creation will be judged with equity and righteousness and truth. Judgement is not often seen as something to be greeted with joy and song, but God’s justice is to be welcomed