Daily Worship

Humanity

May 11, 2022 1
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Image credit: Unsplash

Psalm 8 (NRSVA)

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 honour.
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!

My friend loves the planet. He was one of the first people I knew to make serious lifestyle changes (and financial investments) to help the environment. He was the first person who I saw buy an electric car, which he powers largely (he tells me) from the solar panels on the roof of his house. What he does to charge it on the other 362 days of the year I don’t know.

But my friend despairs of human beings. He is a non-believer and the concepts of sin and redemption are, to him, insidious lies – historic hangovers from a time when religion was used as a method of social control. At times he says harsh things about humanity. He sees us as a plague on the planet.

I believe his view of humanity is horribly wrong. Psalm 8 explains mankind’s place in the cosmos. From the glory of the heavens to the seemingly tiny life of an individual person, the psalmist marvels at what God has done.

We humans are not special because we think we are. We are special because God has made us so. Each of us is unique and uniquely loved by God. When we abandon that special identity we lose sight of who we are and what a human life means. In a world of poverty, dubious scientific advances, war and injustice we have never had more need to hold on to the correct, God-given definition of humanity. We need this, not only to ground ourselves, but to ensure that we honour and protect our fellow humans.

 

PRAYER:

 

Lord, creator of all, you have placed us in your creation to know and love you. We pray that we will always care for your creation and for our fellow human beings. AMEN