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Psalm 8 is a lyrical reminder of our place in creation, calling us again today to our duty and privilege as “caretakers” of all God has made. In one lovely but haunting translation that calls us to recognize “the book of beauty that God’s fingers wrote,” the psalmist asks: “Who are we to stand before all this and see?” The answer comes as gently as the question that has been asked.

We are mortal beings set in this world, below the splendor of transcendent space…You placed us here and gave the earth into our care. You bid us cherish all this that’s ours, all the beasts and creatures of the wild. The birds of air, the fish of sea, the plants and everything that lives and moves are we here to know and love…*

My question as the images of all these creations pass before my inner eye is one of evaluation, knowing the effects of global warming and destruction of habitats causing the increased extinction of entire species. How well have we cared? Who are we in the role we have been given? Who are we?

*Ancient Songs Sung Anew, p.16)