This week's devotional is from Pastor Jeff.
ENCOUNTER: Read Psalm 8:1-9
“... what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?” v. 4
Psalm 8 is a perfect example of what we are talking about in our new series, (Extra)ordinary. This psalm is an expression of that huge existential question that all of us ask on some level: “Who am I that God would engage with me, delight in me, and desire to walk with me?” And added to that we ask: “And why would God pick me, out of all people, to be one of his agents of change and blessing in the world?”
King David, who penned this psalm, asks this question in v. 4 right in the very middle of his discourse of awe and worship about God’s majesty. He asks, essentially, “What in the world are you doing thinking about us, loving us, even having anything to do with us?” He frames this question with a declaration of the undeniable truth at the heart of our dissonance, “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” He says it in verse 1, and he says it again at the conclusion of the psalm. This is the first and last truth about the meaning of life in the universe. God’s majesty is the starting and ending point of any conversation about life. Just a little bit of reflecting on this makes our question all the more dramatic: “Who am I, then, that you would mess around with the likes of me??”
As I said in my sermon on Sunday, and wrote in the introduction to this series on our website, it seems counterproductive on God’s part... at least illogical... for him, in all his glory, to tie himself to our human condition.
God has made what seems to be a ridiculously problematic miscalculation. From the beginning of time he has chosen to use ordinary (or even less-than-ordinary) people to accomplish his extra-ordinary objectives in the world. The apostle Paul described God’s penchant for this unexpected way of engaging with the world saying, essentially, “To get his job done, God uses things that are foolish and weak.” That sounds like it describes we humans pretty accurately! In a different letter, when discussing the amazing news that human beings are filled with the light of the glory of God because of what Jesus made possible, he says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” And therein lies the secret to God’s plan: By his power, he is able to use fragile, flawed, fickle people... ordinary people... to accomplish extra-ordinary, world-altering, barrier-breaking, mind-blowing things. The good news for us? We qualify.
This is why I find Psalm 8 so beautiful. It lifts up the majesty and glory of God, and yet celebrates that God has chosen to “crown humankind with glory and honor.” He made us to be crowned and filled with his Spirit so that by his power and transformation we become creatures of glory and honor.
How can you remind yourself of that incredible truth today? What may have been different about your joy, your attitude, or your actions had you lived like that was true yesterday?
BE A BLESSING:
If it is true (and it is!) that you are (extra)ordinary, then you have the joy of God’s calling on your life to be used, in all your imperfections, to be a blessing to the world around you. Take a moment in your day today and picture yourself with the big red “S” on your chest, if you permit me a silly metaphor. It may be “hidden” beneath your everyday ordinary clothes, but you have God’s Spirit, and God’s favor on you. You are his agent of love, truth, and justice! How great is that? How can you be a blessing today to someone who needs love? Who needs to hear, today, a bit of God’s life-giving truth? How can you take a stand for justice today in the name of our merciful God?
When we are living isolated lives we tend to forget who we are. Our believing brothers and sisters have a way of reminding us of the glory and honor with which God has crowned us. And don’t forget that they need you to help them remember. When you are together with your smaller group this week, (or when you call someone to get coffee), ask them how they have recently seen God doing extraordinary things in and through them. Help them recognize that even though God is majestic and exalted, he has chosen to engage with them in (extra)ordinary ways.
“Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.” - Martin Luther King Jr.