High River United Church of High River, Alberta

A Message to Connect - May 7

Grace & Peace to you, 

David’s Reflections: 

Psalm 7 continues the theme of frustration with the wicked, and of pondering what role we play individually in what happens to us and the world – but I decided to move ahead to Friday’s psalm – Psalm 8 – since the theme of the wicked will keep returning Don’t give up on the psalms, if you’re getting tired of the wicked.  Hang in there – there is so much richness to be found in them.


Starry sky at Mount Rinjani Lombok island

Wikicommons image: Mt. Rinjani, Lombak Island


Psalm 8

One of the small pleasures that I enjoy this time of year are the warming nights.  When I let our dog, Marco, out at night before we both go to our beds, I like to linger on the back step and look at the stars.  The Psalmist writes, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the starts that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” (vs.8-9)  As the nights warm up, I can luxuriate with the words of Psalm 8 and sit with the stars and the moon as I ponder the mystery of life and my little place in it.  When I look at the work of God’s fingers that have knit the universe together, I notice my significance and insignificance all at once.  It is all so vast and hugely significant and at the same time I feel my own insignificance.  My life is ever so fleeting.  And yet, you and I are very significant in the eyes of our Creator.  We matter.  We exist. We are cared for.  We are loved.  How wondrous is that, writes the Psalmist—how majestic  is your name in all the earth! (vs.9)


When I admire the heavens at night, if even for a few moments, and I allow myself to breathe deeply and simply be with the unfolding night sky as it seems to come close and wrap itself around me. Even the scientist-mind that is mine with all its appreciation for astrophysics, quantum mechanics, red-shift, dark matter, gravity and the like, is still struck by the as-of-yet unexplained wonder and beauty of the universe.  Theology and Cosmology simply use different languages to understand the mysteries of the universe.  I quite like that.  But that being said, and in the midst of these pandemic times, the universe continues doing what it does—expanding, spinning, orbiting, gravitating, living, dying and being born.  It’s all happening at the same time within the universe that has created a beautiful home for us.


You and I are a relatively recent phenomenon—a point of arrival when the universe has developed the capacity to reflect upon itself.  That sounds very esoteric and abstract…. I know…  But it is what I ponder when I let Marco out at night.  It’s the sort of mindfulness that invites me to sort things out, to realign my priorities, to consider the difference I can make, to be open to that which is much greater than me and in that alone, allow myself to feel love. My time on the back porch during these warming nights is all about setting intention.  It forms the outline of prayer as I trace the work of God’s fingers across the night sky.


What ritual do you have at night?  Might you put a sweater on this evening and step out into the night and look at the sky filled with stars.  Can you find a favourite constellation?  Might you notice a satellite zipping across the sky? Maybe you catch the shadows of migrating swans.  Or, notice a shooting star.  As you ponder the night sky, may these warming nights grant you a deep rest in the arms of our Creator God, whose fingers trace the beauty of the heavens.  Perhaps in that moment, your heart opens to the deep wisdom that God is mindful of you, that God cares for you, that you are not alone in the universe.  God is with you, even in these times of loneliness and being apart. Thanks be to God!


With love and blessings,

Rev. Susan & Rev. David

High River United Church – a community of help, home & hope

“Just to be is a blessing; just to live is holy.”  A. Heschel



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