What are human beings that you are mindful of them?
Reflections for a Church in Lockdown
“Personally in reflecting on the events of the last several days, a verse from the Psalms comes to mind for me: “When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained, what is man that thou art mindful of him.”
The person speaking at the start of this episode is the astronaut Buzz Aldrin, part of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 and the second man to walk on the surface of the moon. His words came towards the end of the Apollo mission, as a reflection back on the journey from earth to the moon, the flight down to the moon’s surface and the safe passage back to the command module. According to Aldrin, Psalm 8 helped inspire his colleague Neil Armstrong’s words as he stepped onto the moon’s surface: one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind. The two astronauts placed a capsule in the lunar dust. Inside the capsule is the text of Psalm 8: ‘O Lord our governor, how glorious is your name in all the world.’
COVID-19 is terrible: the pandemic has taken lives and robbed people of loved ones and has threatened our way of life for a time. We are still in the middle of it. But if Psalm 8 gives us a perspective on human life, it is that this pandemic is not the greatest challenge of our generation…