Psalm 8 reflection
Bec Hill, St Mellitus ordinand based at St Bartholomew’s Roby, responds to Psalm 8
As I write today I’m feeling a bit sad: it’s been a tough week and lockdown, although easing, is finally getting to me. It seems as though the closer we return to normality the more I’m reminded of how things are not normal at all. During lockdown, when things have become difficult, as they are today, we’ve taken time to go for a walk, get some fresh air, and remind ourselves that there is still a lot to be thankful for.
We in this statement is my two daughters and me; my husband has had a very different lockdown experience - continuing to work throughout, often under really challenging circumstances. We have had a dramatic change of lifestyle: from hectic running from breakfast to school to activity, hurrying our meals and racing against the clock, to an almost complete stop. No school, no clubs, no hurry.
And so we’ve walked, talked, wondered and noticed. How majestic his name is in all the earth. We’ve appreciated the seasons and the fingerprints of God’s goodness in the space around us.
Verse two of our psalm today says, ‘Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.’ Being childlike is valuable in the kingdom of God. Here we see how children’s praises (and I would say childlike praise) can become protection against the things that would hold us back from the simplicity of relationship to which God calls us.
The psalmist takes a moment to wonder - the moon and the stars, all of the creatures, given as a gift of love to us.
I love to look at the stars; they fill me with awe. The night sky is so beautiful and never fails to draw me to prayer and praise as I realise how big God is and how much he loves me.
What is Mankind that you are mindful of us? the psalmist asks. What’s special about us is that God is mindful of us, loves us, desires relationship with us. He made us in his image and we share his creativity- another thing we’ve enjoyed in recent weeks.
If you’ve ever been on a walk with small children you’ll know it’s infuriatingly slow for an adult in a rush. They can’t help but wander slowly and wonder at everything. They want to stop and notice bugs, raindrops, flowers and pebbles; when you slow down with them and allow them to share the gift of wonder with you it’s refreshing for the soul. We walk so fast; we miss all of the little details.
As we journey through the Psalms this summer, all of life will be found reflected in prayerful conversation with God. He’s not in a rush, he desires to slowly wander with us and he’s made so much for us to talk about. If anything is crowding God out, the very best defence is wonder and praise; we encounter the creator and sustainer of the universe and are reminded that He is mindful of us.
Psalms Summer Reading Challenge
Join Archdeacon Simon in this year’s Summer Challenge reading the book of Psalms together. Sign up to this course and you will receive weekly emails encouraging you in your reading. The Psalms are the hymnbook and the prayerbook of the Temple, and of the Church. In these 150 songs the Psalmist explores the whole range of human experience, with all its highs and lows, of human life lived in the presence of God, and sometimes the experience of the apparent absence of God too. Find out more about the challenge and how you can get involved.Course 19 PartsTotal current bookmarks 12