How long has it been since you’ve gone out under the night’s sky … and just paused … looked up, and pondered the wonder of our (or better yet, God’s) star-spangled universe? How long has it been since you’ve taken your son or daughter, grandchild, or nephew or niece, out into the grassy backyard on a late evening, pointed upwards to an infinite sea of stars, and sighed: “O, can you see how those stars form a handle? And how those other stars form a cup? Together they form a constellation called the Big Dipper? People all over the world, just like you, no matter where they live, can look up and see it. Isn’t that amazing?!” … And so we hear the amazed and praise-filled spirit of the Psalmist who bears witness for our worship services this weekend, pointing us in faith …
“O LORD, our LORD, how majestic is thy name
in all the earth! Thou whose glory above the heavens
is chanted by the mouth of babes and infants …
When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars which thou hast established; what is
man that thou art mindful of him [?] …
“O LORD, our LORD, how majestic is thy name in all
the earth!” (Psalm 8:1-2a, 3-4a, 9; RSV. Emphasis added.)
My friends, somehow I think we’ve lost this sense of awe and wonder in our lives – say nothing of a spirit of reverence for the One to whom we often mindlessly confess: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth” (Apostles’ Creed). What has happened to this sense of wonder as witnessed by the Psalmist? Is it gone, or has it simply been redirected or misplaced? Or, have we perhaps simply “outgrown” any need for pondering anything beyond the material of this world? “Cows jumping over the moon are simply for nursery rhymes and children.” Right? Or are we missing something here? Do you feel something missing … Some kind of “dis-connect” … Something in your life that all earthly, material stuff cannot fill … that to which Psalm 8 is trying to direct our vision?
Come and join in worship this weekend, as we together hear God’s Word for us: a Word that has the power to shed light on the various blinders and distractors of our age, in order that we might experience awe and wonder and reverence anew. Listen in to these words of another of God’s psalmists:
“The touch of the eternal reaches into every one of our lives;
and moves through and beyond to thrill the fringes of
the sunsets and its hills.
For the earth is crammed with heaven and every common
bush is aflame with God’s presence.
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes – the rest sit around
and pluck blackberries.”
(Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Aurora Leigh, Book V, ii)