Description / Transcription
As you take a seat, please turn with me to the book of Psalms, chapter 8. Psalm 8 this morning. Hear the Word of our Lord.
“O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
You have established strength because of Your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which You have set in place,
what is man that You are mindful of him,
and the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is Your name in all the earth!”
Would you pray with me?
Our heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word and we thank You for Your Word in all its various parts. You’ve given us law, You’ve given us history, You’ve given us wisdom literature, You’ve given us the prophets, You’ve given us the Gospels, the letters, and You’ve given us poetry. You’ve given us the book of Psalms. We thank You for it and how it speaks to the whole of our being and speaks as we put it in our mouths from the whole of our being. How majestic is Your name and how that draws out from us our worship for You. We thank You that even in light of Your majesty and Your beauty You have created us and You have created us in Your image and You have created us to relate to You in our image. So we pray this morning as we look at this text You would grant us a greater understanding of what it is to be in Your image and to have the privilege of relating to You. But You have not just related us to us, You’ve related us to all of Your creation and granted us privilege and responsibility. So through David and this psalm may You help us understand the relationship You have given us to the rest of creation. But Father, we know we are sinners. We have prayed about our sin and confessed it this morning. We know it abides within us and we carry it with us wherever we are. We know our need of a Savior. So as with consider how we are created in Your image, and created to reflect Your majesty, we pale in comparison to the One who has some who carried with Him that image perfectly, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So we thank You that He has come and we thank You that He now mediates our relationship with You, and may You grant us this morning, even through this text, a greater appreciation for the One who has come to save us from our sins and the One in whom we are now being transformed so that we as Your sons and daughters may more and more reflect the image of Your Son in our lives. We pray these things in His name. Amen.
There’s probably no question our age is more confused on than the question that this psalm gives us – what is man? What does it mean to be human?
We live in a time, it seems, that swings like a pendulum in its estimation of man. At one time leveling us with the animals, at another time exalting us to the level of deity. At one time denying our inherent dignity and worth, at another time attributing to humanity autonomy and even divinity.
It seems we are caught. Humanity is either exalted too high or considered too low. We see this all around us.
This confusion emerges from even the most brilliant minds of our age because if we try to figure out what is the enigma of man only with the tools of say philosophy or science, we will not get to the enigma and the mystery of humanity. No matter how well these tools might be used, they cannot get to the mystery of what it is to be human. We might say literature, poetry, perhaps they do a little bit better job, but even they are only going to present to us a ___ view of humanity if they do not have the divine lens of Scripture.
Certainly many of you will remember, harking back maybe to your high school literature days, the tension found in Hamlet’s famous words, “What a piece of work man is. How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form in moving, how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension like a god. The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals, and yet to me what is this quintessence of dust. Man delights not me nor woman either.”
Why is there this tension, this confusion, even in the most intelligent people? It is because they neither know our divine origin or our profound human fall in Adam. Only the Word of God knows both of these, our divine origin and our profound fall, and because of this can give us an honest, truthful picture of our state as human beings.
Now the other question that our age is probably equally, maybe more confused on, than the question of what is man, is the question of who is God? There’s a reason, of course, for this, this joint confusion, because these two questions are related, they’re bound up with one another. As one theologian put it, “Man is an enigma whose only solution is found in God.” It follows then that true knowledge of God is necessary to get at the bottom of what it means to be human. Calvin opened his great work of theology by observing this: “It is certain that man never achieves a clear knowledge of himself unless he has first looked at God’s face.” Knowledge of man and knowledge of God forever linked together.
The psalmist is very aware of this connection. But as he explores this connection, he does it within a proper framework.
Have you ever had the occasion to be out on a deck, and maybe that deck is extending out into a body of water, and you’re there at night. No clouds in the sky. You lay on our back and you look up and you see the vast sea of luminaries in the sky, the galaxies. You’re just struck. Who am I? Who am I in light of all this?
Or you’re a hiker. Right? And you go up a mountain and you reach some summit and you look over the great valley and landscape of everything that surrounds you and the majesty of creation. What is humanity? What is man in light of all of this?
Or you fly into one of the great cities of our world, a New York, and it’s dark and you can look down and you see all the lights, you see all the busy-ness, you see all the trouble that you know is in the hearts and in the lives below, and you have this bird’s eye view and you simply wonder, “In light of the majesty and vastness of this world, what is humanity? What is humanity?”
Well, we learn by these that it is often in the vastness of creation that we are led, we are prompted to ask, “What is man?” Aren’t we just a speck, aren’t we just a mere mite in light of who God is and out of all the things He has made?
The psalmist makes it clear that a complete view of man must consider not only our relationship to our Maker, but also our relationship to everything else He has made. Relationship to our Creator but also the vastness of everything else He has made.
The psalmist will not view humanity, man, abstractly as a sort of philosophical construction, or even pragmatically, primarily, what can man do? But the psalmist considers, David considers here us as we are related, as we are connected to God and then related to the rest of creation. Only in connecting humanity to its Maker, the One for whom we are made to worship, and in view of the rest of God’s vast and beautiful creation, does the psalmist explore this great question. It’s at the heart of the psalm – What is man? What is the nature of humanity?
So this morning we will follow the psalmist through three distinct movements. The first is from considering the majesty of God to the question of man. The second is considering man in light of God. It moves from considering man in light of God to man in light of the rest of creation. And then the third movement is one that leads us out of the psalm. It leads us out of the psalm to the implications in this psalm that no mere man can satisfy, no mere man can satisfy.
Well, as we consider now Psalm 8, the first thing we notice is that it seems to be a kind of poetic reflection on Genesis 1. It’s as if David was reading his Bible and it was in Genesis 1 in his devotions. Right? And considering God’s Word in his heart, considering this Word, came up with a poem, constructed a poem of praise and wrote it down in his journal and spoke it back, this word to God. For this psalm is directed to Him, to God, in all His majesty. And like Genesis 1, it starts with God: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth.”
This word of praise actually envelopes the whole psalm. Right? Look at the beginning and look at verse 9. They perfectly mirror one another: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth.”
So as the psalmist takes God’s name on his lips, he actually uses two different words. If you’re looking carefully at your English Bible, you can see the two words that are behind the two English words by seeing that one is in all caps. Right? All capitalization. And the other is not. The first, which appears in capital letters in your English text, is the name that God gave to Moses. It’s His covenantal name. It’s Yahweh.
So when an Israelite would take this name on his or her lips, it was of special significance for it pointed backward to that revelation of the name in Exodus before the actual act of exodus in Egypt. In those events of the actions of the exodus, God displays His faithfulness to His covenantal promises by delivering His people from bondage in Egypt. As you know from that story, what does God do for His people? He fights for His people, He confounds the Egyptian gods, He delivers the Jews from the grip of the Egyptians. God fights for His people, and this is part of His covenantal faithfulness to His people.
Throughout Scripture this name, Yahweh, is associated with God’s covenantal faithfulness, His deliverances of His people in fulfillment of His promises. This is the name held up to be excellent and magnificent in all the earth by the psalmist here. God’s name is superior to the world’s gods, their false idols, because He is the true and living God. No other name is above this name. No other name is greater because no other god can match His awesome power and His loving redemption. All this is invoked, power and redemption, covenantal faithfulness, through Lord, Yahweh.
Well, God’s covenantal name is followed by another one there, also Lord, in your English Bibles, yet this time you will notice it’s got a capital “L” and the rest is lower case, and the Hebrew word behind this one is “Adonai,” Adonai. This name stresses God’s ability to govern. It is characteristic that one might address a king with this term, for example. Our God who fights for us and redeems us. What else does He do? He rules. He is king. He rules. He watches over. He works all things according to a purpose, according to a plan.
So these truths about God from the beginning clearly set Him apart from His creation. Right? He stands above His creation. He is majestic above all that He has made. He cannot be identified with that which He has made. He is distinct from what He has made. So there’s a clear distinction between God and man, God and the rest of His creation.
There’s also a distinction in creation that He has established between man, that which is created in His image, and animals and the rest. So there’s a clear foundation here that is being laid for understanding our place in the world.
As much as these names reveal of God’s awesome strength and character as universal ruler, He wants to highlight in particular the nature of His strength by utilizing a contrast, a contrast. He does this by using an image of the weak. There is contrast in verse 2 between what? The enemies of God and children. The enemies of God and children. The psalmist appeals to what appears weak, small, and maybe insignificant in our eyes to flash before us His great strength. God can work to defeat His enemies even through the weakness of children.
So the psalmist moves all the way from the glory above the heavens to what is considered low, to what is considered weak, what is small here on earth and through this, through this God works to topple, to bring down what appears to be strong, the enemies among us: Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have established strength because of Your foes to still the enemy and the avenger.
What’s interesting is through this contrast, God teaches us not just about Him, He does do that, but he also teaches us about us. We are completely contingent and dependent upon Him. Real human strength comes not from our own inner resources, but comes from Him. And He shows His strength being able to use the weak things of this world and demonstrating that His fortress extends from the highest heaven all the way to the smallest, all the way to the weakest. He’s king over all and He can work through the whole of His domain.
So the psalmist is inviting us to consider with him in our praise what a king, what a king that can do all of this. What a king. What a king who does not defeat His enemies with what is considered the best of the best of this world, but he confounds the wisdom of this world by using what appears to be weak and insignificant. What a king we have that can defeat His enemies with the chatter, the babbling, of children.
Well, as the psalm shifts attention in verse 3 and moves to eventually consider the nature of man, the psalmist continues to use this power of contrast. It’s to show our place, humanity’s place, in the world. Even as he does so, he stresses the power of God in creation by directly tying the vastness of creation to the work of His fingers, to the work of God’s fingers. The heavens are magnificent yet they are shaped and fashioned by the fingers of God. This underscores with a bold marker, this is a great God. This is a mighty God. This is a majestic God.
We are set up to think then by what? By way of contrast. By way of the power of God, the majesty of God, the wisdom of God, we seem so insignificant. Man seems insignificant. A mere speck, a mere mite, in the whole of creation, the whole of the cosmos. It’s in this contrast which leads us to this rhetorical question that is found here in our psalm – What is man? What is man?
Not just what is man. That’s the philosopher’s question. Right? But what is man that You are mindful of him? That’s the Bible’s question. What is man, not in an abstract sense, what is man that You, the majestic Lord of the universe who created all that is, cares and defends His people? What are you that, what is man that You are mindful of him?
Why would God pay any attention to human beings? What’s more, why would He be mindful, caring, and grace-giving to us?
This rhetorical question is a powerful question. It evokes an answer that screams out of us. Right? Nothing. Who are we? Nothing.
Now note there there’s no tinge of irony here in this question. Neither pessimism that so often marks our considerations. It’s asked in astonishment. It’s asked in awe. The mood of this psalm is one of praise. The mood is of praise because the psalmist knows God is mindful of us. Someone who is mindful as God is here is One who moves from remembering to moving toward the object of that memory and God does so. Moving toward us with great care and love as we, who despite who we are in the vastness of creation, are the crown of His creation. He has us in mind. He is ever mindful of us.
Well, as the psalmist asks this pivotal question in verse 4, he proceeds to answer it by showing that fundamentally man has been made for and defined by his relationship to God. He’s been made for and he is defined by his relationship with his Creator.
In verse 5 we see the grand dignity of humanity, which has been created a little lower than the heavenly beings. What’s more, we see this royal terminology – you have crowned Him with glory and honor.
You’ll remember this psalm first stresses God’s role as king over His creation in verses 1 to 2, especially by the use of that word “Lord,” Adonai. Now royal terms are used of human beings. Glory and honor are marks of the King apply to God, but now by David, the psalmist, apply to humanity, to mankind.
So I think we have here a clear allusion, a clear allusion to the image of God, the image of God in us human beings. A sort of poetic reflection on verses 26 to 27 of Genesis 1 which we read earlier in our worship service. Again, the psalmist having read that chapter, I know this is somewhat theoretical. Right? But the psalmist, David, reading Genesis 1 in his devotions, prayerfully reflecting on that and then reflecting this poetry in light of that. The psalmist reads, reflects, and gives this wonderful hymn of praise.
Our native dignity as human beings flows from the fact that we are created in God’s image. This is most important because it shows that we are created for a relationship with Him. This is our specific mark. It distinguishes us from the rest of God’s great and majestic creation that surrounds us.
As great as that creation is, as vast as it is, it actually, despite how small we feel, pales in comparison to the dignity and the worth and the consideration that God has given to His man, to His human beings, to those He has created in His image.
So the fact of the image of God should condition us therefore as Christians to view other people with the highest dignity . This is why from the very beginning Christians have been concerned with how the weakest in the world, the oppressed of this world, the downtrodden, have been treated, whether that’s from our brothers and sisters in ancient Rome who used to care for unwanted, discarded children left to die by exposure to Christians in the history of the world who have started orphanages to care for those who cannot care for themselves in light of those people being in God’s image.
In light of people being in God’s image, Christians have established things such as clinics, hospitals, rescue missions, soup kitchens, crisis pregnancy centers, schools… The list could go on. Why do we do all that? Why have faithful Christians throughout the history of the world acted in that kind of way? Because we’ve been righty concerned with the image of God. We get concerned about how do we fight wars? Can wars be fought justly? How do we treat human embryos? How do we treat the reality of prejudice? We do all of this in light of the kind of truths that are given to us in this wonderful psalm. These are issues of great concern because they involved, all of them, human beings.
As the saying goes, everybody matters, everybody matters because every person has been created in the image of God.
But even more than baseline protection, care, and education, the image of God concerns us as Christians because it points towards the communion for which we have been created. We’re coming up next week, right? On missions week, when we give attention. Now we’re always concerned with the lost and reaching the lost, whether internationally or at home, but we give special attention and special attention to learn and to pray about missions in the upcoming week. So when we send missionaries to Japan or Africa or England, we do so that those that are there, that bear the image of God, may know the One in whom they’ve been created, the One that they reflect, that they might have that image renewed, that they might be saved. The image has been twisted, a face made opaque, yet it’s still there. The fact that there are human beings bearing the image of God who do not know God compels us to tell them of the significance of who they are as creatures of God and rightly orient them through repentance and faith to their Creator.
Well, as soon as the psalmist alludes to the image of God, he then explores in verses 6 through 8 that we are to image God to other human beings. Yes, but we are also to image, or represent, God to the rest of the earth. We are called to exercise care and not abuse to the rest of God’s creation. We must remember that in our dominion we are not independent of God’s dominions. He’s the high regent, we’re sort of sub-regents, or vice-regents. We’re assigned rulers who answer to Him, the King of Kings.
This is the second movement in this psalm, from man in light of God and His majesty to man and his relation to all the rest that God has made. What the psalm makes clear is that as those created in the image of God bring to bear the relation to God, they bring it bear on their relation to the rest of creation. So our reign with God, within God’s creation, is demonstrated in our God-given dominion over things like the animal world. Indeed, over all of the works of God’s hand. As stewards of God’s creation, we are given the responsibility to care for it.
Now as you likely know, there are confusing messages today in our culture over what is called care of the environment, environmental care. But do you notice even in our cultural language of environment, we cut out sort of a needed presupposition of our relation to nature, our relation to the animal kingdom. What I mean is this – an environment is often something that we create, or we break, whereas creation is something that’s been given to us. We didn’t create it, God did. When we speak of the creation, we know this infers something. It infers a Creator. We are called to be caretakers of what has been given.
So let’s be as Christians deliberate in our speech to not cut off the Creator from His creation, for it is He who delegates authority to us to care for the animals, to care for the earth. It is an authority that has been given to us, one we must exercise with wisdom and care and diligence. It’s an authority which can, yes, be abused and neglected.
But there’s no one size fits all consideration for what it means to care for creation. Some of us in this sanctuary are homeowners. Some of us may even be farmers. Some of us may own animals. Some of us may have companies that we’re responsible for. Whatever is the lot we have been given by God, there’s to be a care exercised in wisdom, realizing everything we have been given has been received, and that the earth and the animal world, while not in God’s image, are nonetheless created by God. They speak of His grandeur. They are to be cared for according to their unique natures as given to us by God.
Well, as we see this movement from the majesty of God to the mystery of humanity and God’s care for us, to our relation to the rest of creation, there’s a clear view of the psalmist’s understanding of reality, of physical reality and spiritual reality, a view which, of course, should inform our view of the world. How do we view the world? Standing over all and separate from all but Himself, is our holy God, who exists by Himself, who exists in perfect communion among Himself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
But God in His wisdom and power and majesty creates. In standing at the top of that creation as the crown of that creation, is man. Men and women created in God’s image, who are made to look up to God, to first look up to God, to take our cues from God, but as we look up to God to then turn around and care for the world that which has been given to us under His authority.
But this picture, this view of reality, it’s very comprehensive that’s presented to us in Psalm 8. It misses something. Something’s not said here, something that we too frequently ourselves know. The reason this beautiful picture often escapes our gaze, the beautiful picture presented to us in Psalm 8, is because of sin. Sin is something we all know too well but not referenced here. As much as the sentiments of this text appeal to the universal human condition, we do not have in this particular psalm mention of the fallenness of humanity that is our everyday lot. Strewn throughout the history of our race, since the fateful day recorded for us in Genesis 3, men and women are setting themselves up as God which results in abuse and murder of other human beings and the mistreatment of God’s creation.
Only in God’s design is there a proper exaltation of God, a proper dignity accorded to humanity, and a proper care of the earth. Exaltation of God, dignity of man, care of creation. That’s the beautiful order presented for us here is Psalm 8. But when these distinctions are broken down, especially when we humans want to put ourselves in the place of God, then we have confusion, we have chaos, man being exalted to God, man debase to the animals, human beings abusing creation. It’s chaos.
Now what is interesting is that even though this Psalm does not mention sin, and its focus is on the proper role of humanity, the surrounding psalms… So if you this afternoon want to do a little more Bible reading in the Psalms, read the surrounding psalms, the surrounding psalms are prayers for deliverance in the face of the wicked. You see it in Psalm 3 to 7. You see it in Psalm 9 to 10.
Then if you go all the way back to Psalm 2, what is in Psalm 2 is the turmoil of the nations as they throw off the rule of God. In this context, then, Psalm 8 sets forth a proper role of human beings in the world in relationship to God as a reminder of why we were created and that the rest of the surrounding chaos and confusion and usurpation of God’s rightful authority is a wrong thing and what we need to turn from and we appeal to God to make it right.
But in Psalm 8 with have a hope of what can be, a hope that cannot be fulfilled in our own power, but hope that can be fulfilled by God doing once again something great. We glimpsed briefly earlier these royal images embedded in this psalm, images really permeating these first chapters of the Salter. Why? Because they were written by King David. Psalm 2 explicitly focuses on a king who will bring a reign of righteousness, the king is given dominion over the nations. The reign of this king over the nations will bring about the establishment of the proper role of humanity within creation. Who is this king? This king is, of course, the King of Kings, King Jesus, the One who is to come, the One will set things right, the One who is setting things right now and will set things finally right in His second coming.
If there’s anything we can learn in the New Testament about our King Jesus Christ, it’s that He demonstrates His power through weakness. He prefers to demonstrate His power through weakness. Jesus Himself quotes from verse 2 of Psalm 8 in Matthew 21:16. The chief priests and scribes in that passage were indignant with Jesus for all that He was doing in Jerusalem and in the temple, and the children had picked up a cry of the multitude and the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and began to proclaim in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” And the enemies of God at that time, who were the very leadership of the Jews, were angered and Jesus takes on His lips verse 2 of this Psalm. The quote in Mathew 21 of this psalm sets out the contrast between children and the enemies of God. Jesus says strength is found in the words of children who are worshiping Him. Strength is found in apparent foolishness. The royal wasting of time. The weakness of what we are about this morning in this sanctuary, wasting our time worshiping God.
The beauty of this strength is seen as even those who are smallest among us, the weak, the marginalized, the insignificant in the world’s eyes, place the name of the Lord on their tongue and they give praise to God.
Even as this contrast is highlighted again in Scripture by Jesus in Matthew, Jesus is confirming that the praise described here in our psalm is praise we should give to Him, Jesus. The praise that goes to God should be given to Jesus. Why? Because He is God. He is the King of Kings, the Creator of the world. He is Lord, Yahweh.
Another New Testament passage which we read earlier, Hebrews 2, quotes this psalm in reference to the work of Jesus in His humanity. What this psalm says about human beings, about man, is directly applied in that psalm to Jesus. He is the true man. The purposes of God for human beings in this world are ultimately fulfilled in Him, in Jesus Christ. We find our true humanity and our true dignity in the incarnate Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has come to restore through suffering and death, God’s original purpose for us that was marred by our sin, and the man here in Psalm 8 is a man God intended and we find who we are intended to be in Him, in Jesus Christ.
What’s more, through Jesus we are restored to our kingly role of dominion over creation. In Him, as we are transformed into His image, we are made truly godly rulers of what has been entrusted to us. We share this now with Him as He’s enthroned in the heavens and He has given us a sub-role in this world, but we wait even a final victory over death that will be accomplished and our true destiny as human beings will be revealed when He returns and He restores this world and the new heavens and the new earth.
So our passage this morning, it leads us to consider God and His majesty, human beings as His special creation, uniquely related to Him, and humanity as given dominion over the reminder of God’s creation. But it also leads us out. It leads us out of this text itself to search for that One, to search for that man who fulfills this picture and who by renewal can set everything back into proper order.
We have here a biblical vision of reality. One that in today’s confusion we need more and more. We need the grace of understanding given to us by the Spirit in this passage. We need God to recalibrate our vision to His. We need His strength to live it out, to confirm this in our experience.
Well, as we have looked at the details of this psalm, we have looked to the need for us to see other human beings created in the image of God, which requires us to see one another in light of God. We have looked at our need to consider where God has placed us and how do we care for the creation in light of the delegated authority He’s given us.
But lastly this morning let us consider as the psalmist David stresses in his repetition in verse 1 and in verse 9, his radical theocentric that’s God-centered view of reality. A view of reality where the worship of God envelopes all that is seen and all that is done.
Many of you have heard this comment before, “All of life is worship.” This is true, all of life is worship for the Christian because we live our life Coram Deo, before the face of God. We live our lives before the face of God because God in His infinite wisdom and mercy has eternally oriented us toward Him. That orientation then determines everything else, or should determine everything else, in our lives. What’s more, He has positioned us in His Son, which sets us firmly at God’s right hand, places the Spirit within us, that’s God’s image might be redrawn within us by His Son.
Whatever we find our hands doing, whatever we find our mind thinking, whatever we are up to, we are God’s image, we are united, if we indeed are His to the Son and we live out of that reality in His presence, under His authority, to His glory. This is an act of worship because we are called to a divine orientation, a view of reality where God is seen at the beginning and God is seen at the end. God is seen at verse 1, God is seen at verse 9. Where His praise is seen as our highest calling, a calling which sets in place all of the other callings that He has given to you and to me. The worship of God, the praise of God, it gets shaped to life because it’s actually a preview of our destination. Throughout eternity, we take residence in the new heavens and the new earth there to worship God.
As we are given grace today to live according to our destiny, we live theocentrically, a God-centered life. We live a life before the face of God and we offer Him all of our lives as acts, as thoughts, as devotion of praise. Worship is our calling and our worship is our destiny.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth.
Please pray with me. And as I pray, I’m going to appropriate a prayer from the middle ages, a church theologian and pastor by the name of Anselm of Canterbury. We acknowledge, Lord, and give thanks that You have created Your image in us so that we may remember You, think of You, love You. But this image is so effaced and worn way by vice, so darkened by the smoke of sin that it cannot do what it was made to do unless You renew it and reform it. We do not try, Lord, to attain Your lofty heights because our understanding is in no way equal to it, but we do desire to understand Your truth a little, that truth our hearts believe and love. For we do not seek to understand so that we may believe, but we believe so that we may understand, for we believe this also, that unless we believe we shall not understand. So God, we pray by Your Spirit You would grant us understanding from this Word this morning, that You would renew Your image within us so that we might see You, reflect You, know You, serve You. Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.