How Majestic Is Your Name

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Most of us have had an experience that moved us deep in the core of our being . . . but then, have you tried to put that feeling into words? It’s hard, isn’t it?
How do you describe the peace, the beauty, the perfection of a snowy forest clearing?
What about the wonder of seeing inside a pregnant belly through ultrasound?
The awe when you look at a skyful of stars and feel so small, small, small?
Words don’t seem to convey those feelings, do they?
That’s what art is about: pictures and dance, poetry and music. They don’t just pass along information; they evoke feelings, convey a mood, provoke a reaction.
If that’s what poetry and song are for, then is art. From thousands of years ago, in a foreign culture, translated from Hebrew to English, this poem conveys some of the sense of awe that David felt.
Imagine that King David was standing outside, watching the stars. In the hills of Judea, even in downtown Jerusalem, there wasn’t a lot of light pollution in David’s day. He could see the constant constellations, the wandering planets, the shooting stars. To see all that, and the Milky Way Ä stretched from one horizon to the other can make a person feel small, small, small.
That’s where the wonder begins. David confesses that God made all that. And if God is responsible for that beauty, that huge vista of light and delight, then God is truly amazing. David’s awe bubbles up:
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory in the heavens.
(NIV)
It still needs some translation. Ä The first “Lord” is God’s covenant name. Calling YHWH “our Lord” is a statement of allegiance.
It’s like cheering for the Canadian Junior Hockey team. Sitting on your couch, you have nothing to do with their success, but your allegiance to Canada gives you a sense of pride and inclusion. David cheers God’s amazing creation with the same sense of allegiance and investment. Go God! My covenant God is awesome!
From the majesty of the Lord who created the infinite expanse of space to the frailty of infants and very young children, the poem brings us on a sense of wonder. The praise brought by little ones creates a stronghold, a fortress of protection. The praise brought by little kids actually silence the enemy. For the record: I’m glad that our Sunday School classes participated in our Christmas services, that you are present in the sanctuary so much of the time, and that you’re an important part of the worship we bring.
From the sense of awe about God, David’s song moves us to marvel that people have been so honoured by God. Humans are relatively small on the scale of the world, let alone the universe. I mean, I was in a small boat off the coast of Cape Breton Island when a Ä Fin Whale surfaced beside us. If you think Holsteins are big, think again. That whale was massive!
Yet God chose fragile people like you and me to take care of the whales, the cattle, the hogs, the plants, and the land. “Ruler” – it sounds like a great job, doesn’t it. Think of the power, the authority . . . think of the responsibility before the Creator! What is mankind that we get that kind of role?
Especially when you consider how we’ve fallen down on the job. Our first parents steered us all wrong by rejecting the Lord as their Lord. “You ain’t the boss of me,” they said as they took the forbidden fruit.
People have followed that path ever since. That’s my experience. On my own I don’t live up to God’s call to righteousness and holiness. But God doesn’t abandon his dearly loved people to the path of death and destruction. Although we deserve to die as rebels and traitors, God the Father provided a way out. He sent God the Son to bear our shame and punishment, redeeming and restoring us to live, allegiance, and service to our Creator and Lord.
God has lavished his love, forgiveness, and honour on humankind. Far beyond our deserving! We could all echo David’s wonder, Ä“What are human beings that you care for them so much?”
· To pick us up, wash us free from guilt by taking our place on the cross.
· To breath life in us through Jesus’ resurrection and to anoint us with the power of God the Holy Spirit!
· Pause and marvel at the gift, the honour, the glory God has lavished on humankind!
We’ve been restored to our role as rulers and stewards of God’s good creation.
Trees, talent, treasure are all entrusted to us for our enjoyment, our livelihood, and God’s glory. How are you going to do that in the year ahead?
New Years Day is a time for resolutions. It feels like the year is an open, snowy field. The footprints haven’t been made yet. What’s it going to look like? Now’s the time to envision what the path is going to look like.
Home & Work/School – give it some thought on your own.
As a congregation, I have some ideas, plans, and dreams. Obviously, we’re going to do some renovations to the building. But I don’t want the work we’ve begun on growing in faith to get derailed or stalled.
If only our building gets renovated, this year will be a failure. I hope to work on Bible-reading and prayer.
· Between now and the end of March, I hope we read through the Gospel of Luke together
o daily readings and sermons, the messages of Lent
o Not just to grow in knowledge, but so our sense of awe and wonder grows as well, so whether we’re looking at creation or God’s plan of salvation it causes us to declare: Ä
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory in the heavens.
(NIV)
· I also see room for us to grow in prayer
o Grow in comfort of praying together
o To think about how and when we talk to God
o To depend on God’s leading, direction, and closeness as experienced through prayer
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