How Majestic!

As we move through Lent, Pastors Dave and Vikki have been encouraging us to read through and reflect on the Psalms. As prayers that address the full range of human emotion and experience, they give voice to whatever we may be feeling. The men’s study group was challenged to come this week prepared to present a favorite Psalm to the group, so I have been spending some time with them.

I find myself particularly disappointed in people these days, as there are so many problems and so much vitriol in our country today. This drew me toward some of the laments, where the Psalmist expresses his complaints to God – there is much to complain about these days! But I realized that right now, I am not particularly satisfied asking “How long O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” with the Psalmist in Psalm 13:1. While that represents pretty well some common feelings, it isn’t what I would describe as a favorite. I found myself looking for the Psalms that are more hopeful, and I found what is at least one of my favorites in Psalm 8:

O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

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

When I look at the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established, what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?

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

You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet, all sheep and oxen and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is your name in all the earth!

I realize that it is when I look at the photos of space from the Hubble telescope, or look at the Front Range on a clear day following a major snowfall, or watch and listen to a large flock of geese take flight against a beautiful spring sky on an afternoon like today, I am able to focus not on my own problems, or the problems that our political leaders seem so unable to effectively address, but on the wonder of God’s creative power and love for us. It is remarkable that God has given us fallible humans the responsibility of stewarding this beautiful creation and our life together. I am clear that I don’t deserve that kind of authority, but God has given me and all of us the opportunity to care for each other and the world. What wondrous love is this, O my soul!

Dave Erickson-Pearson

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