A message for the week starting on Sunday 12 June 2022
Lectionary Week: Trinity Sunday
Prescribed Texts: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31, Psalm 8, Romans 5:1-5, John 16:12-15
A Little Lower than Angels
Focus Text: Psalm 8
The Old Testament readings for this Trinity Sunday focus significantly on Creation, with a reading from Genesis 1 and 2 and specifically Psalm 8 singing about the wonders of the Creator God.
While praising and celebrating the God of Creation, the author of the song in Psalm 8 highlights the value of human beings. According to the NIV, humankind was created “a little lower than the angels” and crowned with glory and honour. Some translations even say that humankind was created a little lower than God. Sometimes we view this Creator God as the God of the past, the God that created once and moved on to ‘other work’.
As I write this, a severe storm is predicted for Cape Town tomorrow. I cannot help but wonder what humans will be experiencing over the next few days. I wonder if people in low-lying settlements or the homeless would experience that they are only ‘a little lower than angels and ‘crowned with glory and honour’ when they are cold, wet and hungry.
As I write this, South Africa is again rocked by a spate of killings, particularly of women and children. I cannot help but wonder what these humans were experiencing in their last moments. I wonder if these children and women experienced that they were only ‘a little lower than angels’ or as crowned with ‘glory and honour’.
In the last few days, we heard of violence and senseless deaths in Kabul and Manchester and London and Paris. I wonder if these people experienced that they were only ‘a little lower than angels’ or as crowned with ‘glory and honour’ when their lives were senselessly destroyed by bombs, cars, hammers or knife-wielding strangers.
John van de Laar reminded me in a moving prayer that God continually creates and recreates:
Life-Giving, Restoring, Fulfilling God
The Word you spoke, and keep speaking, O God
is the life, the sustenance,
of all that is – seen and unseen.
The Life you gave, and keep giving, O Christ
is the recreation, the renewed birth
of every broken, wounded and sinful creature.
The breath you breathed, and keep breathing, O Spirit
is the inspiration for creativity, compassion and community
that connects and unites all that God has made.
Life-giving, Life-restoring, Life-fulfilling God,
our worship seeks to honour you
our hearts are devoted to you
and our lives are completely given over to you.
When I read the stories of anguish and tragedy, I also read the other stories in these situations of creation and recreation:
– of ‘street people’ and grandmothers coming to the assistance of young teens hurt in Manchester
– of a nurse running toward the bridge in London and giving her life in an attempt to help others
– of school children staging a protest calling for a community in which they can grow and thrive
– of churches opening their doors as shelters for those who do not have shelter and many more.
To think about: How can you stand and work with the “Life-giving, Life-restoring, Life-fulfilling God” in the midst of the challenges you face today?Written by: Ms Lyn van Rooyen, former Director of CABSA, trained Churches Channels of Hope (CCoH) facilitator