God - be with us here this morning,
help us to connect with you and with each other
so we will go home refreshed and encouraged later on,
Ready to take on the tasks that await us in the coming week.
In Jesus name. Amen.
Last week we talked about God as energy, as spirit, as something like a power grid that is all around us and inside us, connecting us with the power of love in the world. We spoke about how God is everywhere, connected to everything and how he seeks to connect to us, even where we may not always want or seek to connect to him. How his loving power is forever reaching forward to change the world and make it a better place, calling people to connect to him and to each other and work with God for change, for more love, peace and justice to be at work in the world. .
When we come to think about God in that way it is pretty awesome. It makes you want to sing and celebrate that there is such a thing as God, pervading everything with a force for all that is good and loving, with a force that is always at work in the world to bring about good things and works tirelessly for peace and justice.
Well that is one of the things we do when we come to worship: Praise and worship God for his wonderful presence in our life and in the world, share our experiences of that with each other and help each other connect to God in such a way that we get better at working with God towards a better world. We listen to stories about others who have lived with God and talk about their experiences and we discover what other people have said about God over the ages. Some of those things dating back 6000 years, some of them written yesterday.
Today we will be looking at a poem. A poem somebody wrote as many as 3000 years ago, about God, trying to express some of his or her feelings about the awesomeness of God. We are not sure who this person was, we do know however that some time after the days of King David this poem and some others like it were collected and put together in a book and published in honour of King David, a great poet and musician himself.
I dont think they would have had the experience of the plasma ball, but they found some other interesting ways of expressing what they felt about God and how they saw him and experienced him.
Reading: Psalm 8.
What Psalm 8 does is talk about God in the imagery of nature.
Awesome it says, when we start looking for that power for good and love, for beauty and the great positive things in life you can see it everywhere! Look at the stars, they are awesomely beautiful, just like God. They have his name written all over them! Look at little babies and toddlers, arent they miracles of grace and love? Look at them, listen to them and youll see God power oozing out of them, it is just marvelous how they have come about and how they grow and develop. Thats God all over, when that happens, all these miracles coming about, thats God at work and there is no enemy who is stronger than that power of life, that power of beauty and wholeness. It is just awesome!
Thinking about that, about the beauty of the night sky and the sun dawning in splendour or going to sleep at night in a beautiful display of colour, in the midst of the irrepressible force of life creating and recreating goodness and grace, however we will inevitably realise how small and insignificant we are. And how amazing it is that somehow, this God, this force of love, this power for good, invites us to work with him, longs to be part of our life, to be involved with us, seeks to share this quest for a better world with us, gives us responsibility for it and asks us to combine forces with him.
Isnt that amazing? God, who is beyond anything we can understand or imagine, wanting us as partners, inviting us into a covenant with him to make the very best of the world we can and fight with him against anything that would take away from that.
Psalm 8 sees God especially in nature, in the beauty and goodness of the world around us. It says that wherever we see beauty, wherever we experience the awesome power of nature, wherever the natural world inspires positive feelings in us, we experience something of God, we meet something of Gods power and love. Not that it is God, but it speaks of God, like the plasma ball last week spoke to us about God, showed us how we could think of God, how we could find words to speak of God.
Nature, for the writer of psalm 8 is similar to that. It speaks of God and it helps us find words to speak about God. Both about the awesomeness about God, where God is beyond our understanding like when we look at the night sky as well as about the intimacy and closeness of God where he is close and all around us, close enough to touch and experience like we can experience the soft fur of a rabbit or the fragile wings of a butterfly.
Lets read the psalm again, but this time with the actions