February 15: Psalm 8


February 15: Psalm 8
The excellence and order of creation

66.66 D                     Aurelia (The Church’s One Foundation), p. 120
Spanish Hymn (Come, Christians, Join to Sing)

O Lord, in all the earth how excellent Your name!

You o’er the heav’ns have set the splendor of Your fame.

From mouths of infants young the power of praise compose,

In face of enemies to stop avenging foes.

I view the skies above which Your own hands have made,

I see the moon and stars which You in order laid.

What is frail man, that Lord, You should remember him?

What is the son of man that You should care for him?

Yet God, You have made man with light and honor crowned.

You placed him o’er Your works; beneath him all is found:

Ox, sheep and all wild beasts, birds, fish the oceans claim.

O Lord, in all the earth how excellent Your name!

According to Hebrews 2, which is our oldest extant Christian commentary on Psalm 8, the word “man” in this text refers to Christ our Lord, and the entire psalm is a description of His saving work. By the incarnation, our psalm says to God, “You have made Him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned Him with honor and glory.” God’s Son did not only “become human,” though it is true that He did. Nor did He simply “become a man,” though this likewise is a correct statement of the fact. He “became man,” rather, in a sense defying grammatical precision as thoroughly as it confounds also the expectations of biology, psychology, metaphysics, and other aspects of the human enterprise, thereby shocked and left reeling, all its vaunted resources now massively strained and overcharged at the infusion of unspeakable glory. Christ is the archetype of man, bearing all of humanity in Himself. Christ is no afterthought; He is the original meaning of humanity. Such is the true meaning of Psalm 8: “You have made Him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet.” (Reardon, p. 15-16)