Daily D – Psalm 8:3-4
When I observe your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place, what is a human being that you remember him, a son of man that you look after him? PSALM 8:3-4 (NLT)
“I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?
Jupiter and Saturn crossed paths in the night sky couple of weeks ago. We could observe this wonder with the unaided eye even here in the Metroplex with its light pollution. The next act in this starry production begins tomorrow evening (Saturday) just after sunset and will continue for two more evenings. Mercury will join the show.
This is a good time to have a friend with a telescope and a parcel of land well away from city lights.
Several years ago, a dozen or more of us were participating in a training event at our retreat center. Well away from city lights and the sounds of endless traffic, we stretched out on the ground and gazed at the stars above. At first, it felt a little silly, grown adults lying down, looking up, waiting for something to happen.
Inevitably, someone in such situations pulls out an iPhone and opens the Night Sky app. I myself use the free version of this app now and again to help me orient myself in what Donald Miller described in his eponymous memoir, Blue Like Jazz.
I hereby authorize you to knock an iPhone from your companion’s hands if he or she spends more than thirty seconds gazing at the wonders of the app rather than losing himself or herself in the expanse above.
Two sentences in these paragraphs have now ended with that preposition, above. This makes three. Above is also properly used as an adverb, an adjective, and a noun. This is the orientation of Psalm 8. Above the earth, above all human activity, above all of nature’s wonders, above all of my concerns, there is endless silence, beauty, wonder.
How long has it been since you laid back in wonder?
There is a chance I may have disturbed my neighbors’ dogs a couple of weeks ago. Watching that majestic conjunction above, I asked Siri to play, The Majesty and Glory of Your Name by Tom Fettke. I hereby give you permission just after sundown the next three nights to sing that song or to have Siri help you find it. Here is a YouTube link if you need it: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrTV0KD\_qQI]
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge,” (Psalm 19:1, 2).
There is a declaration of wonder above. More than a preposition making us uncomfortable when we end a sentence that way, more than an enhancer of action or an object, Above provides reorientation to how big is God that he could create all of that and yet love us as if we were the only person who ever lived.
Kind of takes your breath away, doesn’t it?
I will worship our God above.
Our Father, Creator of night skies and light-bearers, we worship you. Savior who woos us to yourself through wonder, we adore you. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”