Psalm 8 (NRSV)
Verse 1O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
Verse 2Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.
Verse 3When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;
Verse 4what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
Verse 5Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
Verse 6You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,
Verse 7all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
Verse 8the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
Verse 9O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
The first time I saw the aurora borealis was on a late, twenty-below-zero, South Dakota night. My future wife and I had just finished a long conversation about our future. Bent in against the cold, in fear and expectation, I walked alone across the frozen Augustana College campus. I was awed by the Northern Lights dancing before me, tall, emerald, majestic. I don’t believe God appointed those great lights to shine for the sake of one confused student. If that were the case they would shine there every night. Even as an English major, I was aware of the Van Allen belt and the strange interface of solar winds and earth’s magnetic fields. But in that moment I was even more aware of the intimate nature of God, always in, with, and around us, and also transcendent beyond us. It was not a sign. It was simply my heart being stirred to recognize the power and presence of God in, with, and under this universe and my insignificantly small self. It was enough.
Oh, Lord, how majestic are your works in all the earth. Lord, God, awaken our hearts, we are desperate to see you. Amen.