Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/23/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Gordon Pettibone
Oberlin UMC
Hays District
Dorothy Ellsworth
Alton UMC
Osborne UMC
Hays District
Stacy Ellsworth
Paradise UMC
Waldo UMC
Hays District
Blake Stanwood
Phillipsburg UMC
Hays District

Today's Lectionary Text

 Psalm 8:1-5  

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.

Today's Devotional

Our daughter and her husband are stargazers! They love looking at the night sky, observing and identifying stars and constellations while also scheduling watches for nights of meteor showers and comets. Months ago, they bought a powerful telescope which has energized their passion of stargazing.
 
On a recent visit to their home, we spent an evening looking at the night sky through their telescope. I was overwhelmed with awe looking at the sky through the magnified lens. The moon, looking so close, had clear cut craters and shadows that brought me joy. Observing this year’s Christmas star – the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn – filled me with awe as I saw the rings of Saturn which is 746 million miles from earth. Identifying the moons of Jupiter expanded my definition of seeing the moon. And looking at twinkling Sirius, the closest star to earth at 8.6 light years away, reminded me of a joyful childhood song: “Twinkle, twinkle little star.” Then our son-in-law reminded us some of the night sky objects are many millions of light years away. I stood there in a backyard in Wichita Kansas sensing how great and majestic our expanding universe is. And how small I am.
 
In that moment I remembered the words of Psalm 8: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you have established, what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” 
 
So, here’s a thought. During this year of 2021 when earth’s residents cope with a worldwide pandemic and we in this nation live in a divided, fearful and at times violent society – might we do well to look up once and awhile at the night sky! For it can be an awe-some, wonder-full, majestic experience. Which in turn will give us perspective to see that the Universe is much bigger than us and our problems. It’s humbling as we can sense the power of David’s words formed in an affirmation and a question when I look at your heaven ... what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?”
 
Let me suggest the next time we see the night sky, let’s be awed by its vastness, humbled by our smallness, yet affirmed by our greatness as earthly human beings created and loved by God. The same God who continues to create the nighttime sky is also mindful of us with creative, caring energy. Thanks be to God!
-Rev. Rick Saylor
Retired Clergy, Kansas City, Missouri


 

Prayer for Reflection

Do an outdoor night sky prayer, simply being still and looking at the night time sky and repeat the words of Psalm 8 “when I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you have established, what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them.”
 

 

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