A New Psalm 8 for the New Year

A painted sky, Sedona. SJG photo.

As we head into the New Year this cold, cold, cold (did I mention it is cold here in St. Louis?) Sunday morning, I find myself yearning for spring and pondering two of the (many) great mysteries of life: First, why are we so gifted with the beauty, bounty and intricacy of the world around us? And second, in the midst of all this signal of God’s glory—small and hidden as we are as minuscule beings in the vastness of the earth and universe—who are we that God is mindful of us?

That is the question (and answer) of Psalm 8, and today I offer this retelling. I wish you all the very best for the coming year and offer my hope and prayer that you (and I) will continue to grow in the gift that is our awareness of God’s presence in our world and lives.

Psalm 8 for the New Year

All we have to do is look around and really pay attention to what we see. It’s all so easy to miss when we don’t stop and look deeply. But, then, in the quiet of an early morning walk or a summer night beneath a sea of stars and planets, in the invisible presence of all things ever created or changed under your wisdom and guidance, your glory and your name explode before our very eyes.

And we cannot help but sing. We sing as a baby sings, the proper words not formable in our mouths and yet clamoring to escape in bursts of praise. For words don’t matter when we see the works of your hands and fingers, the moon and stars set in place, when we are at least aware of the microscopic life that surrounds and sustains us, the earth and its creatures professing your glory far better than any words we can string together in a sentence, a poem, a song.

Happy New Year. Thanks for reading. Photo by Sue Givens,

Indeed, who are we that you are even aware of us, small and insignificant as we are? Who are we that you care for us, making us “Elohim,” little less than gods, angel-creatures of your heart, crowning us with life and consciousness of you, gifts beyond comprehension and measure?

You have given us the obligation and right to oversee and embrace all you have created and, yet, your call is always to love, not to merely rule and use. The beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the rivers and seas all point us to you, the creative and creating giver of all life.

All we have to do is look around and really pay attention to what we see.

And so we sing. How can we help but sing? How can we keep from singing?

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