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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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.