What I’m Thinking: What are Human Beings?

Psalm 8 asks one of the most profound questions of the Scriptures: What are human beings that God is mindful of us?

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about two Scripture passages on this Trinity Sunday.

The first is Psalm 8, the great expression of praise to God, the God of Creation. The psalmist asks what is, I think, one of the deepest and most profound questions to be placed in Scripture: What are human beings that you are mindful of them, O God? Yet, says the psalmist, you have clothed them with glory and honor, and indeed the psalmist remarks on the way that human power applies to all the rest of the created order.

The Apostle Paul, I suspect, may have been wondering much the same – what are human beings that God is mindful of them? – as he wrote his second letter to the church in Corinth (2 Corinthians 13:11-13). Second Corinthians, well… Second Corinthians is a contentious letter. Paul had some things to say that, at times, expressed his anger rather bluntly. And yet, to close he offered his love and his blessings, invited those fractious Corinthians to greet one another with a “holy kiss,” and then asked the blessings of God, of Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit to be with them.

We are living in a day in which, once more, the racism of the United States of America has been laid bare. The injuries and frustrations of people who had been first utterly denied their freedom, and then denied a share in the full participation in society that others had, people who had been told by people who look like me that they were inherently inferior… Their rage for such treatment – their rage for such treatment is plain to see.

What are human beings that you are mindful of them, O God, when human beings can treat one another with such cruelty and such callousness for so, so long?

I don’t have an answer to that question except to say that God has answered it by saying, “I care.”

“I care about the ones who have been oppressed. I care as well about the oppressors but I also care that they cease oppressing. I care that people adjust their behavior. I care that people treat one another well. I care that people regard one another as human enough to greet one another with a holy kiss (or at least with something similar in the days of a pandemic when that is not a suitable greeting).

“I care enough to bless them. I care enough to love them.”

So what I’m thinking is: the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you whoever and wherever you are.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: | Posted on June 1, 2020

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