Thursday, November 29, 2012

Psalm 8

O Yahweh, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your glory above the heavens! From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength because of Your adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease, Psalm 8:1-2.

The Psalmist’s thoughts soar above the heavens and then descend to the smallest and weakest and least noticed of humanity, infants and nursing children. In both places God’s glory is found by those who seek Him; displayed for all to see but found by relatively few. Jesus quotes verse two in Matthew Chapter 21: “And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they became indignant and said to Him, ‘Do you hear what these are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise?’”

Picture the lame and blind and children in the temple, in the seat of religious, political, and economic power. Jesus has just thrown the money-makers out of the temple, saying: “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.” As the religious merchandisers exit, the disenfranchised enter – the outcasts, the ignored, the children who know no better, the blind who can’t see common sense, the lame who can’t keep pace with the world – those who have no use enter the temple and Jesus heals them and accepts their praise. The useful leave and the useless come and God is glorified.

God’s glory in the heavens may humble me, but does His glory in infants humble me? God’s glory in great and mighty mountains and oceans may humble me, but does His glory in a child humble me? If I am humbled by the expansive it is because I am small; if I am not humbled by the small it is because I think I am great; I am be overwhelmed by that which is bigger than I am, but am I humbled by that which is smaller than I am? If the great and the small are both the work of God then should I not be humbled by both?

I may wonder at the Golden Gate Bridge, but I may also wonder at a Faberge egg. I may wonder at Mount Everest, but I may also wonder at a butterfly. I may wonder at a cross-continent trip, but I may also wonder at my own backyard.

When the infants and children and lame and blind have no place in the temple, when the disenfranchised are not offered a front-row seat, we crowd the glory of God out of the temple; whether it be the temple of the church or the temple of individual lives. God has ordained His praise and chosen to display His strength through children, through the small, through the disenfranchised, as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians Chapter One: “…but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things that are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.”

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