As we continue our study of the lessons for the First Sunday after Pentecost, or Trinity Sunday, we turn now to Psalm 8 which reads as follows:
What is man that you should be mindful of him?
The son of man that you should seek him out?
You have made him but little lower than the angels;
you adorn him with glory and honor;
You give him mastery over the works of your hands;
you put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen,
even the wild beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,
and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.
Essentially the psalmist is laying the claim of the superiority of humankind over the rest of creation. It is already accepted, according to Genesis 1:26-28, that humans are created in the image of God, meaning, among other things, they have creative ability – to continue God’s creation process – and also have dominion on earth. Furthermore, according to Genesis 2:7 God “breathed into his (the human’s) nostrils the breath of life…” There is something very special in the creation of humankind.
Obviously, there is huge responsibility here, and there is also the “hope of sharing the glory of God”, according to Romans 5:2 (The Epistle Reading for the day).
Having dominion over God’s creation cannot be compatible with exploitation or misuse of it. Similarly, injustice is incompatible with Wisdom “rejoicing before God always, rejoicing in God’s inhabited world and delighting in the human race” (Proverbs 8:31).
Guided by the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ followers are enabled to be good stewards of God’s creation and ultimately share with Christ in God’s glory. As the Collect pleads, “Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen”.