This is an “all God’s creatures got a place in the choir” praise the Lord psalm, though I’d rather not be included in the choir when sea monsters get to exalting the name of the Lord. But then Psalm 148 doesn't discriminate. Young and old, women and men, fire and frost, creeping things and flying birds, wild animals and domestic livestock, kings of the earth and peasants (you get the idea) are all commanded to exalt the name of the Lord who created sun and moon, stars and heavens, etc. etc. etc. But one wonders why the whole world should join the chorus if the horn raised up is only for the people who are close to the Lord. Is everyone else supposed to praise Israel’s God from a distance? This is the part of “Praise the Lord” that the psalmist didn’t see coming. Simeon saw it when Joseph and Mary brought the horn “raised up” to the temple on the eighth day for the rite of purification. “Let your servant depart in peace for my eyes have seen your salvation… a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” Apparently God does not discriminate either but in preparing for something beyond the psalmist’s imagination intended the horn raised up for Israel to be raised up for those outside Israel as well. It meant the end of things Israel thought essential to praising God; circumcision and keeping kosher to name but two. So what might that mean for us who also believe God has raised up a horn, formerly for Israel, but now claimed exclusively by we who are close to God by virtue of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? If God determined the law of circumcision and keeping kosher unnecessary for a right relationship what else might be on the table? Well if the psalmist couldn't see it coming neither will we. That’s the nature of God whose ways are not our ways and whose thoughts are not our thoughts who cannot be contained by the universe but is born in a stable. Maybe that’s why the psalm commands everything that is to praise the Lord. Surprise! Merry Christmas.