Background Have you ever stood at the ocean’s edge or looked up at a mountain or the stars when you are far away from the city lights? It is that sort of moment that the Psalmist is feeling in the middle of Psalm 8. All this wonder… and then there is us. I also think this is where Psalm 8 begins to have unique connections to our times. There is that phrase “mindful of them” that is replaced in some versions with “thinking of them” or “thinking on them”. But in our days, the term “mindful” is making a comeback with books and mental exercises and even phone apps increase our “mindfulness”. In modern parlance, this means being present thoughtfully in the moment, with those you are with and with awareness of the gifts of that moment and that place. That God would be mindful of us, that we are part of his consciousness in this moment, even given the grandeur of the oceans, mountains and stars is amazing.
Reading Psalms 8:3-4 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals[a] that you care for them?
Reflection: Let’s be honest, there are times that humanity isn’t so impressive. We can look out at what we are doing and wonder at the stupidity, cruelty and wastefulness that is part of who humans can be. Of course, there is also the wonder of great art and music, selfless sacrifice and community engagement as well as the acts of kindness and love that marks as humans as well. What does God think of it all? In our own lives, we are a microcosm of this greater humanity, mixes of good days and bad, of apathy and love. This Psalmist sings this Psalm to remind us that God is mindful of you, all that you are in this moment and for better and worse, he cares for you.