Daily Worship

Cocooned by stars

June 08, 2020 0
Image credit: Unsplash

Psalm 8 (NRSV)

1 O Lord, our Sovereign,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.
2     Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
    to silence the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars that you have established;
4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
    mortals that you care for them?

5 Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under their feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

9 O Lord, our Sovereign,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8 is amongst my most beloved Bible texts. The sheer sense of awe and wonder at creation never fails to lift my soul, encouraging my eyes to rise from my own perceived limits to the infinite power of God. It could make you feel small, this kind of imagery; but (for me at least) it does the opposite. It reminds me I am connected to something bigger, yet still known and loved. 

The psalm also mentally transports me back to my days at sea in the Royal Navy. Out at sea, away from sight of land, a calm, clear night sky offers a breath-taking experience: a dome of stars. Again, this could invoke feelings of isolation or bleakness, but it makes me feel cocooned. To me, it feels more like a thick blanket of wonder, enfolding and surrounding everything. We are held in the palm of God’s hand.


O Lord, our Sovereign God,
grant us rest in the majesty of your creation,
which surrounds us and envelopes us,
holding us gracefully,
in the palm of your hand.
May we be humbled by your placing of us
slightly lower than you, God,
so that our dominion over the works of your hands
is guided by wisdom rather than foolishness,
equity rather than greed.
Remain ever mindful of us, glorious God,
and remind us forevermore of your love, AMEN.