On Sunday, July 20, 1969, the world was fixated on the idea of men landing on the moon in module “Eagle.” When astronaut Neil Armstrong’s set foot on the moon surface said these memorable words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” However, Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the lunar surface put everything in a Biblical perspective. He quoted Psalm 8:3,4, “When I consider Your heavens, the works of Your fingers, the moon and stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visited him?” Aldrin had a view of the universe and what our place was in that vastness of that universe.
One of the things one of many commentators has said is when David asks “What is man?” We’re the only ones in the world sitting around asking, “Who are we?” No one else is asking. Human beings are the only ones who ask, “What is a human being?” We’re the only ones who reflect. It is the question that haunts us and often our prayer life is focused on this question “Who am I?” How we answer this question has an underlying implication; it is pleading for our sense of meaning and value. We try to convince ourselves that we are valuable just by thinking we are valuable. You’re going to have to look to romance, to spouse, to love, to children, to acclaim, to achievement, to status, to money. So when we pray for our job situation to be better because we are looking to our supervisors to say, “you are ______” and this is your value. You pray for romance because we are looking for someone to say “you are_____.” We are all desperate for value and we are looking for somebody else to tell you. Take a moment to think about this. Something/someone outside has to give it to you. It’s your nature. You can’t generate it from within. So our prayer lives are filled with asking God for something outside to affirm this question of “Who am I?” The truth is that if you look to anything but God, for your self-image, your identity, it is always on the verge of failure because it can’t carry that kind of weight; you were made to image the glory of God.
Psalm 8 is giving us an answer to this question. It is saying, you’re going to have to look to someone to give you a sense of significance and worth, something and since you can’t generate it yourself there is one who has sealed that identity through His death and resurrection.
The answer is in Hebrews 2. Psalm 8 is quoted at length. “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.” The Hebrews writer saying? He’s saying Jesus Christ lived the human life we were supposed to live with all the love, all the compassion, all the truth, all the nobility, all the wisdom you and I were made to have. He came, and he lived the ultimate human life we were supposed to live. At the end of it, he died the death we were supposed to die. He paid for radical evil.
So what does God do? He sends a Messiah, a rescuer…but the most perplexing moment, He sends God through what? The Creator of the universe comes as King out of the sky with a scepter? A King out with a sword. Know he comes to us through a BABY! Emmanuel! God with us. He comes into our world through in the most helpless estate in the most humblest estate. God has shown us that His power comes from his surrender of worldly power.
When you see Jesus Christ losing everything for you, when you see Jesus foregoing his beauty for you, that’s the most glorious, that’s the most beautiful thing possible. The ultimate glory and the ultimate beauty is to see the Lord losing his beauty and love and his glory and honor for you, that you could have it.
Today, pray that you turn your heart to him. With the power of the Holy Spirit using the gospel, that will turn the mirror of your soul more and more to face him fully. In fact, everything that’s happening in your life is turning your soul’s mirror toward him, even the bad things that are happening to you right now. Everything is doing that.
Prayer Prompt from James Taylor’s, “Everyday Psalms”
My God, my God,
how wonderful you are!
There is nothing like you in the whole earth.
I look up to the skies, and I see you there;
Babies and infants open their mouths,
and I hear them cry your name.
Compared to you, our weapons, our bombs,
our power to destroy,
dwindle into insignificance.
On a starry night, with your glory splashed across the skies,
I gaze into your infinite universe, and I wonder:
Who am I?
Why do I matter?
Why do you care about mere mortals?
We humans are less than specks of dust in your universe.
We have existed less than a second in the great clock of creation.
Yet you choose us as your partners.
You share the secrets of the universe with us;
you give us a special place in your household;
you trust us to look after the earth, on your behalf—
not just the sheep and oxen,
but also the wolves that prey on our domestic animals;
the birds, the plants, and even creatures we have never seen
in the depths of the sea.
My God, my God! How amazing you are.
I pray you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. It is my hope that you join us as we continue in our sermon series on prayer as we look at Psalm 27 entitled “Awaiting Beauty.” If there is anything that I can pray for you please don’t hesitate to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.