Sunday 2nd August 2020 Psalm 8
O Lord, our Lord, throughout the earth how glorious is your name,
and glorious too where unseen heavens your majesty proclaim.
On infant lips, in children’s song, a strong defence you raise
to counter enemy and threat, and foil the rebel’s ways.
When I look up and see the skies which your own fingers made,
and wonder at the moon and stars, each perfectly displayed;
then must I ask, “why do you care? Why love humanity?
And why keep every mortal name in your memory.
Yet such as us you made and meant and meant just less than gods to be;
with honour and with glory, Lord, you crowned humanity.
And then dominion you bestowed for all made by your hand,
all sheep and cattle, birds and fish that move through sea or land.
John Bell © 1993 Wild Goose Resource Group, Iona Community
You can hear a verse of this Psalm here
Why do you care? Why love humanity?
I was asked similar questions by commuters when I was part of a project run each Holy Week a couple of years ago in Stockport. We offered free coffee/orange juice and a hot cross bun to commuters on their way to the local station between 6-8am. Within the bag contained a short ‘meaning of Easter’ card and why we’re doing what we’re doing.
It was fascinating seeing the ‘progression’ of people during the week. From hesitancy, to acceptance, to appreciation, despite this progress, still pure confusion at times! Of course, people never really had time to stop and chat. We were well aware of that. The main thing is they knew we care.
It went down in history, people remembered us from one year to the next. A tiny little thing to really brighten up someone’s, inevitably uneventful, commute.
Studies have shown that depression is far more common amongst commuters. Indeed a potentially mind-numbing part of many people’s day. Of course, we’re now in a world where many companies are considering abolishing the commute. COVID-19 has taught us valuable lessons on the productivity of working from home.
But they’re not alone, depression and anxiety exists in all areas of our society. As a church we are called to love our neighbour. In a world desperate for prayer, desperate to know someone cares, we must show that.
People are inquisitive. People were genuinely interested to hear about our story. And boy do we (all) have a good story to tell!
We care. We love humanity. And, so important it was mentioned twice: “O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (NRSV).
Caring God, You love each one of us.
Even when we feel inadequate, You love each one of us.
Even when we feel alone, You love each one of us.
Even when we are at our wit’s end, You love each one of us.
O Lord, our sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
Give us strength to continue to praise you. Amen