Summary: Psalm 8 reveals the humility of Jesus, which is the model for the way we should live.
You may have read some articles over the past couple weeks about a group of atheists in Santa Monica, California who have essentially prevented the display of a 14 scene Christmas diorama that has been a 60 year old tradition in that city. The local committee that has been responsible for the display is now going to court to sue the city.
Although scenes like that are certainly becoming more prevalent in our culture, I think that most people in our country still hold a view that is probably closer to that expressed by Ben Stein in his famous “confessions for the Holidays” commentary delivered in December 2005 which included these words:
My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
Most people don’t mind that someone else says “Merry Christmas”. And even those who don’t either understand the significance of the birth of Jesus or have not changed their life in any way because of what it means are still likely to participate in many of the traditions of the season. They might even put up a nativity scene of their own. And many of those who would claim they aren’t “religious” don’t have a problem with celebrating the birth of a baby who brings a spirit of peace and joy into the world.
But the event that we celebrate at Christmas each year, the incarnation of Jesus, is so much more than just the birth of a baby over 2,000 years ago. So what I’d like to do this Christmas season is to continue our journey that we’ve been in through the Psalms.
But we’re going to change our focus a bit from the fifteen Psalms of Ascent that we looked at over the past few months and instead focus on several Psalms that are considered to be “Messianic Psalms” because they reveal something about the Messiah, Jesus. As we’ve seen over the past few months nearly every Psalm reveals Jesus in some way, but the Psalms that we’ll look at over the next five weeks leading up to Christmas do that in a much deeper way. My prayer is that as we look at these Psalms they will help to keep us focused on why the incarnation of Jesus is so important. And perhaps none of the Psalms do that better than the one we’ll look at this morning – Psalm 8.
O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!