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  • Catherine Dalziel

Feeling small (24-08-2021)

Reading (Psalm 8)

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

You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

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


Thought

Today marks the start of the Paralympics in Tokyo and, unlike the recent Olympics, it has been decided that school children will be able to go and watch the games. This will give the competitors some spectators to support them and encourage them in their endeavours and will also allow the children to appreciate the abilities of those taking part. When the Paralympics took place in London in 2012 a similar thing happened where free tickets were given to schools so that they could take groups of children to watch the games. I was, at that time, the Headteacher of a small school in North London and so it was that I went to the Paralympics with a group of pupils. I have to say that I don’t remember much about what we watched, I think it included a javelin and a long jump competition, but what I do recall, quite vividly, is the size of the Olympic Stadium. It was vast and we were seated up quite high (the paying spectators were much closer to the action). Not surprisingly we were surrounded by thousands of other school children, all there with their school teachers to watch the games. It was one of the largest crowds I think I have ever been in and sitting there in the stadium you felt very small.


I had experienced a very similar feeling when, on another occasion, I was with a large number of school children, this time I was at the O2 Arena. I was there to support some of our pupils who were taking part in a lovely series of concerts called ‘Young Voices’. There were thousands of school children in the choir and thousands more parents and supporters in the auditorium. Again I felt that I was just one person in a very large crowd.


Thinking of these two occasions I was reminded of the words of Psalm 8, a psalm attributed to David. I thought about David the shepherd who would have spent many a night out in the countryside and with no light pollution around him he would have been able to see the night sky clearly. I imagine him looking up at the night sky, at all the thousands of stars and feeling himself to be small and asking the question of God ‘What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?’


Maybe you have asked God the question ‘Who am I that you should care for me?’. The answer is that God cares for each and every single one of us. To him we are not simply one person in a very large crowd, we are his children and as such he knows each of us by name and he loves each one of us. There is a song that I used to sing as a child and the chorus of which simply states ‘I know he cares for me, for me, I know he cares for me, for me. I’ll trust in my Father in heaven for I know that he cares for me’.


Prayer

Father God, thank you that you care for me.

Amen


Song; He Cares For Me - Northern Chorus - Salvation Army - Castleford Citadel Brass Band - YouTube



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