Wednesday of Epiphany III – Psalm 19:(1-6) 7-14

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

It seems like many years ago, but it was not, just in the before COVID time. My family and I took a trip to the southwest, particularly the Grand Canyon and the national parks of Utah. We stopped for a while in Great Basin National Park which is just over the border from Utah in Nevada. The park headquarters has very muted lighting at night because they are preserving a “Dark Skies” area. Much of our world is flooded by light at night preventing us from really seeing the stars. We were high, the skies were clear, and the lack of light made it very dramatic.

The rangers did a little presentation that night, setting up telescopes in the parking lot and inviting us to peer at some of the wonders above us. We saw the great moons of Jupiter which Galileo had noticed centuries before, a large nebula, and more.

The psalmist looked into an ancient and darkened sky and wondered at what he saw. The heavens declare God’s glory and the skies proclaim his handiwork. We know so much more about those skies than the psalmist, but that does not make the wonder any less profound. God made all this, the nebulae, the black holes, the quasars, and the giants planets and stars. This God is the rock and the redeemer whose favor and blessing we need, whose favor and blessing we have in Christ.

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