Psalm 8 & Romans 5:1-11


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An Activity

We are going to paint the galaxy, so get hold of a toothbrush and a pan scrubber.

You will need small amounts of paints in dark blue, purple and black plus either white, gold or silver. You can use acrylic paints or poster paints with a little PVA if you find they don’t cover well. Use paper plates for mixing and cut up pan scrubbers for applying the paint. Use the paint sparingly to get a better effect and to speed up drying.

You can either paint on stones or black paper. If you use a stone, start by sponging blue/black paint over the whole surface. If you want the paint to dry quickly, warm the stones in an oven before you start.

Next dab on small amounts of purples and blues to create swirling galaxies. Don’t worry if it goes wrong. You can always paint more space over any mistakes.

When your background is finished, dip the bristles of a tooth brush in the gold, silver or white paint, and scrape with a spoon handle to sparsely spray tiny stars into your galaxy. I suggest you practice this on scrap paper first!

If you like, you can add words from Psalm 8 in metallic marker pen. Galaxy stones make beautiful paperweights, and timely reminders of our place in creation.

A Reflection

Sometimes it is good just to sit and boggle. Just stare. Babies are good at this. But I’m not.

As grown-ups, we can be too busy, or we over-think things and end up thinking about what we see, rather than just seeing it. I am dreadful for this – always analysing, always reasoning. Comes of being a scientist, I suppose. But I should take a leaf out of David’s book, or out of Paul’s, and learn to just boggle at the wonder of it all.

I was thinking (yep, again) about whether to write on Psalm 8 or Romans 5 for this week when I realised that are both saying the same thing. The deal that God offers is so amazingly wonderful that it seems too good to be true. God, the awesome creator of time and space, actually cares about me. And he cares enough to haul me out of the slime pit I’ve got myself into and make me part of his family. Jaw. Dropped.

So that’s why we’re doing what my mum called a Toofer or a BOGOFF this week. Toofer the price of one, or BuyOneGetOneForFree.

I don’t intend to do a detailed exegesis on these passages. David describes the wonder of God’s care for us for better that I could. And Paul spells out the amazing truth that although sinners and worthy of nothing but right judgement, we are yet made friends with the Father through the death of his Son – Wow! And we get the fabulous gift of the Holy Spirit who pours out God’s love into our hearts – Double Wow! And we will share in God’s glory! Gazillion Wow!

Read that passage. I don’t care if you’ve read it a hundred times. Read it again. Use a different translation so that the words don’t become dull with familiarity. This is dynamite! This is world-changing stuff! This is life-changing! Read it and let it change your life.

Read The MessageRead New Century VersionRead New International Reader’s Version

Sometimes, we really need to just sit and boggle.

Your Turn

Set aside some quiet time and listen, just listen. And wonder. Listen here

Perhaps you would like to write the psalm in your own words.

A Prayer

O Lord, my Lord, how glorious and mighty you are – everywhere and everywhen!

You display your awesome power and beauty in the night sky.
When I look at the stars and consider the vastness of space,
all of which you created by the power of your word,
I am amazed that you even notice, much less care  about, someone as insignificant as me.
I am blown away that you know and care for me.

O Lord, my Lord, how glorious and mighty you are – everywhere and everywhen!

Bible Text

Psalm 8 Good News Translation

O Lord, our Lord,
your greatness is seen in all the world!
Your praise reaches up to the heavens;
it is sung by children and babies.
You are safe and secure from all your enemies;
you stop anyone who opposes you.

When I look at the sky, which you have made,
at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places—
what are human beings, that you think of them;
mere mortals, that you care for them?

Yet you made them inferior only to yourself;
you crowned them with glory and honour.
You appointed them rulers over everything you made;
you placed them over all creation:
sheep and cattle, and the wild animals too;
the birds and the fish
and the creatures in the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
your greatness is seen in all the world!

Romans 5:1-11 Good News Translation

Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.

For when we were still helpless, Christ died for the wicked at the time that God chose. It is a difficult thing for someone to die for a righteous person. It may even be that someone might dare to die for a good person. But God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! By his sacrificial death we are now put right with God; how much more, then, will we be saved by him from God’s anger! We were God’s enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life! But that is not all; we rejoice because of what God has done through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has now made us God’s friends.

[Using alternative in Romans 5:9 By his blood; or By his sacrificial death.]

Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

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