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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Sunday, October 4, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Psalm 8

O Lord, our Sovereign,
   how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.
   Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
   to silence the enemy and the avenger.

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.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
   you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen,
   and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
   whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign,
   how majestic is your name in all the earth! (NRSV)

Most of us would say that we like to be in control of our schedule, setting our own agendas, and for many of us our theme song could even be “I Did It My Way.” But constantly being focused inward, driven toward set goals, and being in control all the time can become tiring, even a burden. In those moments it is comforting to realize that it is God who is really in control and more wonderful than we can ever comprehend.

Fortunately, there are reminders of God’s majesty all around us. Every time we look into the eye of another person we are witnessing an amazing example of God’s wonderful creation. The eye has nearly 100 million receptor cells in each retina, which contain four layers of nerve cells connected to the brain, which has 10 billion nerve cells. This system makes billions of calculations per second traveling through the optic nerve to the brain.

Or we look into the sky and are reminded of the awesomeness of God’s splendor. A 1992 National Geographic article described the vastness of space by saying, “If you could travel at the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second, it would take you eight minutes to get to the sun. To go from the sun to the center of the Milky Way would take about 33,000 years. The Milky Way belongs to a group of some twenty galaxies known as the Local Group and to cross that group would take two million years. The Local Group belongs to the Virgo Cluster, part of an even larger Local Super Cluster, which is a half-billion light years across. To cross the entire known universe would take 20 billion light years.”

When we consider God’s amazing creation, another human being or the vastness of space, maybe our theme song should be a humble “How Great Thou Art.”

“O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds thy hands have made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed: then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great thou art!”

 (Prayer from “How Great Thou Art” by Stuart K. Hine.)

Reflection written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

Reflection © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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