Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Special thanks to Peggy Graff and her guests for providing this uplifting and inspiring addition to us in her Hymn-a-Day May series. I pray that these paired daily selections will uplift your spirits and feed your soul as much as it does mine.
Psalm 19:1-4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
God’s Glory in Creation and the Law
To the leader. A Psalm of David.
1 The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament[a] proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
4 yet their voice[b] goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens[c] he has set a tent for the sun,
We seem to be hardwired for the experience of awe as we experience the grandeur of nature. Psalm 19 says that “the heavens,” “the firmament” tell a story, even though they don’t speak nor do they use words.
On Christmas Eve in 1968, Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon, entered lunar orbit. That evening, the astronauts did a live television broadcast from lunar orbit, in which they showed pictures of the Earth and Moon as seen from Apollo 8. They ended the broadcast reading from the book of Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness…” I can’t think of a more appropriate scripture to read when they were the first people to see the earth from that vantage point. They were the first to be able to look back toward the earth and to see it as a marbled blue sphere set in the vast array of God’s creation. What an appropriate act of worship—to praise God with the hymn of creation we find in Genesis.
The following July, the Apollo 11 mission left a silicon disc containing messages from 73 nations on the moon. The Vatican contributed the text of Psalm 8 making it the first biblical text to reach the moon: “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. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster