Opening Prayer

Amazing God, you are the creator of the world in which I live. Yet, every person I meet is made in your image and precious to you. You are truly amazing.

Read PSALM 8

Psalm 8[a]

For the director of music. According to gittith.[b] A psalm of David.

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

You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?[c]

You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]
    and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their[g] feet:
all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

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


  1. Psalm 8:1 In Hebrew texts 8:1-9 is numbered 8:2-10.
  2. Psalm 8:1 Title: Probably a musical term
  3. Psalm 8:4 Or what is a human being that you are mindful of him, / a son of man that you care for him?
  4. Psalm 8:5 Or him
  5. Psalm 8:5 Or than God
  6. Psalm 8:5 Or him
  7. Psalm 8:6 Or made him ruler . . . ; / . . . his

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


‘Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, / sun, moon and stars in their courses above, / join with all nature in manifold witness / to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.’1

Think Further

This psalm was the first Scripture portion to reach the moon, the Vatican’s contribution to 73 messages from world leaders left on the moon’s surface. An inspired choice, its ancient words proclaimed the cosmic sovereignty of God and affirmed the role of humankind. The repeated refrain ‘Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth’ frames the psalm at its beginning and end. Before turning to humankind, the psalmist extends the reach of God’s sovereignty over ‘all the earth’ to ‘in the heavens’ (v 1). The psalmist knew nothing of space, but no astronaut reaching even the remotest planet in the most distant galaxy can move beyond God’s reach. In such a universe, the psalmist asks, what are human beings that God should care about them? They have a status almost equal to heavenly beings, but this status is entirely derived from their relationship to their Creator.

This relationship confers great responsibility. We are to manage the earth, its creatures and their habitats, on behalf of the Creator. God has made us ‘rulers’ of creation (v 6); perhaps the NRSV puts it better: ‘You have given them dominion over the works of your hands.’ Christians need to affirm this sacred responsibility, putting us at the forefront of protecting the environment. Christians who claim we need not concern ourselves about the environment, because Jesus will return and restore everything, are fooling themselves and misleading others – indeed they are taking up a position against the will of their Creator. We have dominion but, without recognizing God’s claim on us as caretakers of the earth, dominion becomes domination, and selfish, unbridled domination leads to ecological issues.


‘For the beauty of the earth, / for the beauty of the skies … Lord of all to thee we raise / this our joyful hymn of praise.’2

Closing prayer

Let it not be Lord, that praise should rise to you and I remain silent. I lift my thanks and praise to you.

Obadiah Chisholm, 1866–1960, ‘Great is thy faithfulness’ Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, 1835–1917

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Last Updated on August 20, 2022 by kingstar

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