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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

What are humans?

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

You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are humans that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! ~ Psalm 8

Psalm 8 is beautiful.

But it can also be dangerous.

It can feed into our egos. "Hey, we are just a little lower than God, and we have dominion - rule, power - over God's creation. That must mean we can do what we want."

Like pollute, destroy, poison. Cut down trees. Put carbon emissions into the air. Drain water supplies.

But look a little closer.

God gives dominion right after we find out God cares for us.

We would say that God has dominion over us, wouldn't we? And yet God cares for us.

So logically, since we have dominion over creation that should mean we should care for it.

One great example I read was about the kind of power we have: are we meant to exert power in a destructive way, or power in the gentle way a potter works on clay to make something new and beautiful?

Do we use our dominion to destroy?

Or to cultivate?

To own, or to steward?

Gentle, powerful God: move me to exert dominion in loving and life affirming ways. Amen

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