The Wonder Within

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
   the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
   mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
   and crowned them with glory and honor.”
Psalm 8:3-5 Estes Park, Colorado

When I hear this passage from Psalms, I imagine David – whom the text says is the author – standing on a hillside much like the one I am looking at right now here at the YMCA of the Rockies outside of Estes Park. I imagine him being overcome with awe and reverence by the sheer physical beauty he was surrounded by, just like I am now. It is not hard for a “flatlander” like me to be stirred to poetry when I get a chance to look at scenery like this. Someone asked yesterday if I thought it ever got old… that is, seeing mountains like this every day. I cannot imagine how it could.

We look at the uprising rocks and the sweeping vistas and hillsides above us and imagine God’s careful hand carving each one of the crevices carefully, like an artist.

But then I am also driven to another Psalm at this point: Psalm 139 where we hear the psalmist express awe and wonder at another one of God’s amazing creations. He expresses and awareness that you and I are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” In this sentence the word “fearfully” has the same meaning as when we hear someone say, “Fear the Lord.” It means to regard with great reverence. And so this verse is saying that when God made you – knit you together in your mother’s womb to use the psalmist’s phrase – God did so with great reverence. God MADE the world. God made YOU “fearfully and wonderfully.” Jesus tells us the same thing in Matthew 10:29-31 when he says, “… are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your heavenly father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

And so I guess my message today is very simple… it is proper that we look at these mountains, and lakes, and forests with a sense of awe and wonder because they are worthy of that kind of reverence. But the scriptures remind us that God regards his creation of human beings with an even greater sense of wonder and reverence than these mountains. And if God thinks of us – each one of us – that way, how could we possibly not also be filled with wonder and reverence when we look at another person?

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