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

[Psalm 8:1 NIV]

There are three psalms that I frequently turn to when I need words to describe God’s creation. They are Psalms 8, 19, and 24.

There are two verses in Psalm 8, with which I began this reflection, verses 3 and 4, that I find especially awe inspiring.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;

what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?

As a child, I remember having to memorize the first six verses of Psalm 19:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.

They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.

Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Of course, I learned the old King James Version. I think the New International Version gives the modern-day reader a little more clarity.

And Psalm 24 begins with the unequivocal assertion in the first two verses, that all that we are, and all that we have, belongs to God:

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;

for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.

The longest creation Psalm is 104, which renown Old Testament scholar, Walter Brueggemann, describes as a commentary on Genesis 1. It goes on for 35 verses, far too long to reproduce here. But I would encourage its reading at some point because it is an inspiring poem.

Last Saturday, August 21, my wife, Linda, and I, spent the day in Lorain, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie.

We were there for the funeral of The Rev. Linwood Chamberlain, a dearly beloved pastor who served First Lutheran Church in Lorain for more than three decades.

That evening we attended the premiere of the film, The Fire Song, which documented the rebuilding of First Lutheran after an arsonist destroyed the building in 2014.

In between the two events, Linda and I passed the time away on the beach – literally. I happened to have my camera with me and spent a few hours digitally capturing the goings on at the East Beach of Lakeview Park and its Historical Rose Garden.

That evening, we drove home under the light of a brilliantly illuminating full moon. I ended my day with a few images of that glittering globe.

I end with the slide show below of just a few of the many images which inspired these words of celebration of God’s wondrous and majestic handiwork.


Published by pastorallende

Retired Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Social justice and immigration reform advocate. Micah 6:8. Fluent in English and Spanish. I enjoy music and sports.


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