Day 1: Wednesday, 6 March
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.
1 O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
2 You have taught children and infants
to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies
and all who oppose you.
3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God
and crowned them with glory and honour.
6 You gave them charge of everything you made,
putting all things under their authority—
7 the flocks and the herds
and all the wild animals,
8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims the ocean currents.
9 O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
We start with a song of praise. The task of any translation is to express the immediacy, the excitement, joy and awe that David felt as he penned these words. Imagine yourself as the young son who was chosen by God to be king. Imagine the responsibilities he carried. Place yourself at the head of his armies in battle. Join him in hiding for fear of his life. Imagine yourself in very serious trouble with God.
David talks of the universal praise of God, even from the mouths of ‘babes and sucklings’, as another translation puts it. If their praise is just babble and gurgle then our praise would be so much greater.
I cannot help but utter these words whenever I’m out on a dark, clear night with shining stars. Each of a billion stars in a billion galaxies is bursting with an energy that would melt this small planet. Just who do I think I am in the light of creation? And yet, we, the smallest degree lower than God (some translations: the angels), are given authority over the created things of our earth, sky and seas.
Such a magnificent hymn of praise could only end with the repeat of the opening.
What is your place in God’s created order?
How are we doing with the care entrusted to us for God’s creation?
Do you see evidence of a Big Bang, or God’s handiwork above your head on a clear night?
Father God, draw my eyes outwards and upwards to see the wonders of your creation and show me how you have created a place and a purpose for me. Amen.
Jews sing psalms, too
a more meditative take
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.