Dear Christ Church Family,
Today is Ascension Day, the day that Jesus dramatically exited his human existence to rejoin his Deity. We are told that as he left the Disciples’ sight, they still stayed on gazing up into the Heavens for quite a while. Our Psalmist, in Psalm 8 today, does something similar by gazing up into the Heavens. In both cases their perspectives are changed for the better. Perhaps some Heaven-ward gazing would help our perspectives too. Take a look.
Thursday, May 21, 2020 RCL Daily Office Readings, Year 2
Psalm 8: The Big View, and The Little View. Psalm 8 has something to tell us today about God; something that involves perspective. So, let’s start where the Psalmist does, with the Big view.
“O LORD, our sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established…” (v.3)
Picture the psalmist, outside at night on a Palestinian hillside. Black skies are pierced by stars in a way that most of us have rarely ever seen. He’s just stunned; stunned into worship and reflection.
If the Psalmist is right, if God’s glory has been set above the heavens, then imagine how astonishing God’s glory must be, given how almost incomprehensively vast the universe really is. The Psalmist tries hard to find a way to describe it. He tells us that God’s fingers push the stars into their places. Another Psalmist (Psalm 147) tells us that God even numbers the trillions of stars, speaking each of their names as he counts. Now, this is what we call anthropomorphic language. God doesn’t actually have hands and fingers. But it’s the only way the Psalmist has to begin to wrap his mind around just how majestic God really is.
If you and I will allow ourselves to get past this language and simply take hold of the wonder of this grand perspective, this Big View, then what comes next will blow our minds. For here comes the Little View.
“What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” (v.4)
Given this comparative sizing of these two perspectives, how heart-stopping is the realization that God is actually even aware of us. While God counts and names the trillions of stars, God’s perspective is focused on us. God knows you and me. God calls to us by name. God hears our prayers. God cares about each one of us.
Are you beginning to feel the awe of the Psalmist? All that exists to look at and God pays attention to you and me. Now hear the Psalmist as he ponders what this could possibly mean.
“Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.” (v.5)
Who are we mortals? Beings blessed and beloved; made in the image of God. Psalm 8 gives God his place and places us in ours. The Big View reminds us that God is our Sovereign: creating all, ordaining all, and bigger than all we can see or even imagine. But the Little View reassures us of our uniqueness, our divinely invested value, the glory given us by the Glorious One, and our purpose in the sweep of all of time and space.
That is what this Psalmist’s Heaven-gazing is telling us today. So, the next chance you can get, take the time to go where you can see the stars, and go out into that clear bright starry night, and look up. Let yourself get caught up in the wonder of the Big and the Little Views.