Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!
Let the trees of the forest sing,
let them sing for joy before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:31-34
Greetings, friends! And welcome to “Four-Photo Monday” here in beautiful Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Here at Maul-Hall, the house is quiet and the grandchildren are gone; but the walls are still echoing with the joy, the love, the uninhibited celebration of life, the ebullience that is so contagious.
So I went searching for a scripture that captures how I feel, and that’s how I ended up with the First Chronicles passage above. “Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!”
I like the idea that it’s not just people, but creation too that celebrates God. This makes me realize that there is a relationship between us (as individuals and as “a people”) and God’s creation, a connection between how we respond to life and the state of the world around us (other people, animals, plants, hills, fields etc).
It’s not a stretch of the imagination, then, to suggest that reconciliation between ourselves and God is good for all of life here on Earth. We have a responsibility to rejoice so that the earth can be glad; there are collateral benefits to our personal – and corporate – spiritual health.
So Sunday afternoon, while Rebekah worked with training the new class of elders and deacons at WFPC, I went out to be jubilant with the fields, along with my niece, Hannah, her daughter, Haley, and my parents.
We were jubilant all along the Neuse River Greenway, just soaking in the beauty of fall in North Carolina.
MONDAY MANTRA: So here’s my suggested mantra for all of us on this beautiful November Monday, something you can write on your hearts, discuss with your children, clip to the visor of your car, tape to the refrigerator door, use as a blessing every mealtime, share with your spouse over morning devotions, and intentionally live by all week long:
Jubilantly – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.