For all the beasts of the forest are mine,*
the herds in their thousands upon the hills.
I know every bird in the sky, *
and the creatures of the fields are in my sight.
These images from this morning’s psalm were especially rich for me today because I’ve been traveling through Nebraska this week as part of the support team for our bishop candidates who are on their walkabout around the diocese. Our itinerary has allowed us to see several areas of the state and experience the beauty of springtime in Nebraska. We’ve seen and heard a variety of birds; we’ve seen calves and colts in pastures, deer in the countryside, and prairie dog towns in the sandhills. We’ve seen spring green grass, wildflowers along the road, lilacs in bloom. Tonight in Lincoln we are experiencing the energy of a thunderstorm.
The scale of the landscape in much of Nebraska reminds us of how small we are; we are unimaginably smaller and less powerful compared with God. The reminder of our relative size and strength leaves us in awe of God’s greatness; this psalm suggests that an awareness of God’s greatness impels us to obedience and right relationship with God. Surely if awe at God’s creation can inspire us to want to live rightly with God, part of that right relationship is consciously caring for creation itself.