The Summer Adventure of Psalm 8
Refer to Psalm 8 to find ways to integrate nature and outreach into a more exciting and enriching summer. We can reflect God's brilliance in all we do – in new ways and in more ways.
The glow of no-school-days usually wears off in July as kids find that TV, iPods, and "hanging out" doesn't retain the glamour it had a month ago. Why not stir up things at your house by considering the wonders of the outdoors and the adventures it offers? Base these activities on Psalm 8 – I'll give you the pertinent verses from Eugene H. Peterson's The Message. Along with Peterson's paraphrase in contemporary language, I'll suggest some ways to integrate nature and outreach into a more exciting and enriching summer.
"God, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name."
- In what ways is God a household name in your home life? Through daily prayer, through Bible study, through conversation with God about problem-solving - or mainly through profanity?
- Since God is "brilliant," perhaps He/She has some good ideas on what to do this month. It can start with a prayer or a moment of silence at breakfast to listen to God's ideas for the day. This takes on brilliance when a problem arises and you choose God's help to solve it rather than just suffering with it day after day!
Psalms. 8:3, 4
"I look up at our macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, Moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?" (Explain to young children: "macro" = huge and "micro" = small.)
- Of course, you can look at that "sky-jewelry" and learn more than the Big Dipper. The internet can help you find constellations and comets. And what a treat to sleep outdoors one balmy night, just watching Venus and the changing sky.
- But the second part of that verse especially deserves consideration. Why does God care about each of us? Some reasons are: the creation (us) is essential to the creator (God)...the good qualities we daily express come from our Father/Mother ...all the good we have/do/enjoy comes from the One inexhaustible source...God loves and cares for us every moment of our day...Divine intelligence is the basis of our every thought...God keeps each of us in total safety.
Psalms. 8: 5,6
"Yet we've so narrowly missed being gods, bright with Eden's dawn light. You put us in charge of your handcrafted world, repeated to us your Genesis-charge."
- We are not gods, but we are God-like with dominion over our own lives, based on the Genesis statement that we are "very good."
- Talk about what doesn't seem to be "very good" in family life. How can we change it to "very good"? For instance, how can we be more loving, honest or responsible? Look out for others? Be less critical? While riding in the car or relaxing on the patio, take one area of family friction and see if each family member (parents and kids) can suggest ways to make home more like a true garden of Eden.
Psalms. 8:7, 8
(You) "made us lords of sheep and cattle, even animals out in the wild, Birds flying and fish swimming, whales singing in the ocean deeps."
- What is our assignment as "lord" of all nature? Trash it? Use it up? Ignore it? Why not enjoy the environment and learn from it? Consider a trip to an aquarium or planetarium. Go on a boat trip and see what you find in the waters. If you don't like the mess you see, do something about it. Join a group that supports nature; volunteer at the Humane Society; clean out your room, attic, basement or garage with an eye to recycling as much as you can. From the many ideas suggested in this article, choose one and actually do it.
"GOD, brilliant Lord, your name echoes around the world."
- Since God is brilliant, we reflect that brilliance in all we do. Help that joyful, satisfying, peace-giving brilliance be apparent to all humankind.
- As a family, fight boredom, inactivity, selfishness by writing a prayer that will echo around the world. Take just 10 minutes one day with each family member writing and then sharing. Collect everyone's thoughts and email some of these prayers to family and friends around the world.
Let Psalm 8 inspire your own brilliance!