22 August 2010

Psalm 8

Our parish has been running a contemplative service for about a year now: a chance for people who come and listen to God, often in quite creative ways. It's run by a variety of people and happens every fourth Sunday of the month. Tonight it was my turn to lead it. I was feeling quite nervous because I didn't feel all that well-prepared. I had been praying about it for about a month, and the only thing I really had in mind was Psalm 8.

I got there and got everything set up, and then waited. Lots of candles lit, stones, shells and branches scattered around to give people something to look at and to handle if they wanted an aid to meditatation, data projector all set up to project some images during the reading of the psalm, and plainchant playing.

I sat there in silence, relaxing and listening, for quite a long time. I finally decided that no-one was coming about 15-20 minutes after we were due to start, so I packed everything up again, put all the chairs back in the chapel, and came home. One part of me is slightly disappointed, but another part is just fine with it. We offer the service for people who need silence and space. I know I needed it tonight - and maybe I was the only one who did tonight. That's fine by me. I had a lot of time to pray and be with God, listening to the silence. I needed it.

Psalm 8 NIV (slightly adapted)

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of 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,
who are we that you are mindful of us,
the children of earth that you care for us?
You made us a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned us with glory and honour.
You made us rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under our feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

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