The Psalter of Jesus: The Case for Awe // Psalm 8

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
— Albert Einstein

The things we make say a lot about us. They reveal what we like, and therefore reveal something of what we are like. So too with our God. This world he made reveals what he likes, and therefore something of what he is like. “The heavens declare the glory of God,” the psalmist writes. And again: “The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.” In the many varied ways that this world glimmers to us, we are given opportunity to marvel at the glory of God, to wonder at his creativity and imagination. And it is only in being awestruck by him that we rightly see the value of his creation. When our awe wanes, we mistreat the creation -- either by over-valuing it and asking some piece of it to be our god; or by devaluing it and subjugating some piece of it to be our slave. But God would rescue us from those swamps of ruin. If what he has made cannot hold our gaze, then perhaps he can do so in the flesh. Jesus came into the world not to reflect God like the rest of creation, but to embody him. He came to arrest our hearts and fill us with awe to everlasting.


CALL TO WORSHIP

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
How wonderful is your work, Lord

The Lord’s goodness is displayed throughout all creation.
In things both great and small we see the depth of the Lord’s work.

What is man that you are mindful of us, God?
We can only sit in wonder with the knowledge of you.

Yet you have crowned us lowly ones with honor and glory, even calling us your children.
Praise be to God, creator of all things. Amen.
 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Gracious God, we come to you with spirits needing to be humbled.
We too often think of ourselves as little gods, ignoring our own deficiencies and shortcomings.
Humble us, O Lord, and order our hearts toward you.

Forgive us our faults that we do not see.
Humble us, O Lord, and order our hearts toward you.

Keep us from willful sins, that they would not rule over us.
Humble us, O Lord, and order our hearts toward you.

The Lord is merciful, bearing with us in all things, forgiving us and renewing us.
Thanks be to God. Amen.