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God’s Loving and Caring Touches

By Hung-Su Lim

Stock Earth at night 72px

A few years ago, I visited the Grand Canyon. It was an exceptional experience to sense the vastness of the creation. It was natural to feel overwhelmed by the splendor and majesty of the Creator’s touches in the creation. I stood in awe of God’s creation and joined in singing with nature with the hymn, “How Great Is Our God.” The psalmist in Psalm 8 praises the glory and majesty of God and cannot stop singing praise of God’s magnificent works.

O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens” (NRSV).

The purpose of this psalm is to offer testimony and a witness to God’s glory and majesty. The name of the Lord reaches out to the heavens, and the heavens are filled with God’s glory. There is no place where God’s glory has not been revealed. In verse two of Psalm 8, the psalmist makes the remarkable statement that the mouths and the lips of babes and infants prompt God to work:

Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger” (NRSV).

God raises the weak to shame the powerful and the arrogant.

Through the praise of babes and infants who are considered some of the most vulnerable, God silences foes and avengers and fulfills God’s justice and righteousness. God raises the weak to shame the powerful and the arrogant. So, the psalmist praises who God is and how God displays God’s special interests in the weak and the vulnerable. Then, the psalm moves its perspective from the most vulnerable to the vastness of creation:

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?” (NRSV)

When the psalmist turns to the universe and sees God’s works in creation, the psalmist realizes who human beings are. Human dignity is defined and restored by the creator. By recognizing who God is and what God has done, human beings find their real identity. Even though God creates something immense and vast and stretches out God’s fingertips throughout the universe, God shows unique concerns for something considered small and unworthy. Even though we acknowledge the smallness of human beings in the vastness of creation, God calls us to be part of God’s creative work and to cultivate a way of love and grace (vv. 5-6). The psalmist stresses that through repeating the initial phrase again at the end of the psalm:

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

Psalm 8 praises the majesty of God, which is unfathomable and incomprehensible, and God’s caring works that are extended to the most vulnerable in creation. The psalmist praises God’s characters, attributes, and interests. God’s heart is always concerned with the least, the marginalized, the afflicted, the poor, the sick, and the hungry.

Thus, God’s loving and caring touches are visualized in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, who quotes the verses of Psalm 8 (Matt. 21:16) to criticize dead religious ways that do not reflect God’s heart any longer. Jesus comes to listen to the small voices of the vulnerable and responds to their needs with love and care, and Jesus strengthens them to join in God’s redemptive work. The voices of children singing may look insignificant but become powerful when God acknowledges them. God’s majesty becomes powerful and influential because God’s glory does not stay on the magnificence of the creation but remains in the lowly places where love is shone.

We human beings have experienced the brokenness in creation, and humanity has been challenged by hatred, racism, violence, inequality, poverty, global warming, and more. There is an endless list of issues that we face. How do we heal our brokenness? How do we live as stewards of God’s creation? Humanity can be found in God only as we acknowledge God as our creator and turn our responses to God with praise, thanksgiving, and love. The brokenness in humanity can be restored and healed in a right relationship with the Creator. As we deeply experience closeness with the Creator and immerse ourselves in God’s love, we can serve as God’s stewards, and our religious practices can reflect God’s love. Psalm 8 invites us to live a life of wholeness in praise and love.

As we experience the time of self-denial and repentance in Lent, let us turn to God, who not only comes and listens to us but also invites us to join in God’s continued and redemptive work. God empowers those willing to follow the way of love to bless others with hope and peace.

So, we lift up our voices in joyful song to praise the creator. We hope we will share God’s love with every person we encounter. It is our prayer that we may experience God’s presence profoundly and newly in places that we may have abandoned and forsaken. Our Lenten prayer is that we constantly join in singing and proclaiming that God cares for all and invites all to do the same.

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

Rev. Hung Su Lim is the associate pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Henrico, Virginia.

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