Walking in wonders beyond ourselves

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What is one of your favorite things to do in the summer?

What are you looking forward to doing this summer? Anything special or out of the ordinary? Will you be riding RAGBRAI? Or helping to offer hospitality to the thousands who will be in town on July 23?

A thought for the summer — read Psalm 8 often — while camping, fishing, hiking, at the canyon, the mountaintop, the lake or in your own backyard.

C.S. Lewis said the psalms help us walk in wonders beyond ourselves. Psalm 8 helps us do that and it reminds us who God is and who we are! Psalm 8 proclaims God as the sovereign Lord of the cosmos, whose majesty is visible in the world and the heavens. Psalm 8 reflects on how we stand in awe before the power and the creation of God, and marvels not just at creation, but at the place of human beings in that creation.

Psalm 8

1. O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

2. Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.

3. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;

4. What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?

5. Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.

6. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,

7. All sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,

8. The birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

9. O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Here is a contemporary paraphrase of Psalm 8 by Leslie Brandt from the book “Psalms Now”:

O God,

how full of wonder and splendor you are!

I see the reflections of your beauty

And hear the sounds of your majesty

Wherever I turn.

Even the babbling of babes

And the laughter of children

Spell out your name in indefinable syllables.

When I gaze into star-studded skies

And attempt to comprehend the vast distances,

I contemplate in utter amazement My Creator’s concern for me.

I am dumbfounded that you should care personally about me.

And yet you have made me in your image.

You have called me your child.

You have ordained me as your priest

And you have chosen me to be your servant.

You have assigned to me the fantastic responsibility

Of carrying on your creative activity.

O God, how full of wonder and splendor you are!

A Prayer for you to use this summer:

God of all creation, help us to walk in wonders beyond ourselves. Speak to us this summer through your creation. Speak to us in our worship. Speak to us in our quiet moments. Speak to us through one another. You are our God of glory, splendor and grace. Thank you! Amen