December 4th – Psalm 8:1-4

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As I was preparing to write something for Advent, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring different versions of Scripture. This one startled me with its freshness:

Psalm 8:1-4

God, brilliant Lord,
yours is a household name.
Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;
toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk,
and silence atheist babble.
I look up
at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your handmade sky-jewelry,
moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then
I look at my micro-self
and wonder,
Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?

(From The Message Bible: Biblestudytools.com)

Excitement! Christmas is coming!

As I read this psalm it brought life to my heart.

Nursing infants gurgle choruses”...

Yes, the Baby Jesus, “the reason for the season”… Fresh from God.
Precious new babies….our babies baptized this year.

Beautiful gorgeous reminders that our God, too, was once a newborn.

Christmas, welcoming the precious baby Jesus.

“Toddlers silence… atheist babble.”

Love it! I love thinking that atheists babble. And the innocence of toddlers silencing that babble…yes! Our darling preschoolers singing for us on Christmas Eve. Yes yes yes.
Can’t wait.

“Macro-skies, dark and enormous”….

What must it have been like for the shepherds, to be startled beyond belief by the brightness coming from the heavens?… Directly from the heavens to them on the hillside outside of Bethlehem… What a phenomenon!!!

Clearly, even though this was pre-GPS, the angels knew right where to go.

God’s macro-skies indeed: the star in the east, calling to the wise seekers,
“This way, this way!
Don’t give up. You’ll find the king. Keep going. It will be worth it.”

What if that were us, right now, following that star? Would we be racing down the highway, hoping to beat the paparazzi, outrun the highway patrol, get there first…

God’s message? What? What message??

“Your handmade sky jewelry, moon and stars mounted in their settings”

Love it. Love traveling. Love collecting treasures in my journeys… hand-crafted mementos reflecting beauty, uniqueness, creativity, diversity… symbolic.
Something for me personally to savor,
God’s sky jewelry, however, is a gift for every human being in Evanston or
Taipei or Buenos Aires or Quito or Mecca or Jerusalem or
Antananarivo or Xiamen or Sydney or Berlin or or or….

Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,

Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?

And, thanks to Christmas, I know.

You gave us that precious baby.
Your angels knew exactly where to find the shepherds,
And know where to find us
Your star led the wise seekers
And brings us beams of truth day by day
You give us the earth and the beauty of the heavens
Past and present, we know You through your love. Amen.

Christmas is coming, indeed.

Thanks be to God!

Nan Shorey

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