By Debbonnaire Kovacs, Oct. 14, 2015

Psalm 104:1-9, 25, 37b

 I don’t remember when it was, but I remember how I felt. I was reading this psalm one day, trying to imagine it, to create pictures in my mind…

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
O LORD my God, how excellent is your greatness!

Amen!!
You are clothed with majesty and splendor.

You wrap yourself with light as with a cloak

I tried to picture this massive, not-quite-corporeal Being treading the heavens, pulling light around Themself the way I pull on a winter shawl…
and spread out the heavens like a curtain.

Galaxies spiral out, small as the span of the Almighty hand, stardust scatters…

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the cluster Westerlund 2 and its surroundings has been released to celebrate Hubble’s 25th year in orbit and a quarter of a century of new discoveries, stunning images and outstanding science. The image’s central region, containing the star cluster, blends visible-light data taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys and near-infrared exposures taken by the Wide Field Camera 3. The surrounding region is composed of visible-light observations taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys.

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the cluster Westerlund 2 and its surroundings has been released to celebrate Hubble’s 25th year in orbit and a quarter of a century of new discoveries, stunning images and outstanding science. The image’s central region, containing the star cluster, blends visible-light data taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys and near-infrared exposures taken by the Wide Field Camera 3. The surrounding region is composed of visible-light observations taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys.

You lay the beams of your chambers in the waters above;

Fancifully, I could imagine God laying out beams and arches for some magnificent cathedral dwelling in the nebulae…
you make the clouds your chariot;
you ride on the wings of the wind.

I couldn’t help seeing ancient imaginings of God riding winds and clouds, but still in stellar spaces…

You make the winds your messengers
and flames of fire your servants.

Ah! Here come the angels—the sons of God, mightier and more beautiful than even the Valar and Maiar of a Tolkien (though I saw one once, shrunk to fit in the little bedroom and human eyes of my four-year-old self…)

You have set the earth upon its foundations,
so that it never shall move at any time.

This was when it struck me like lightning—this is the story of Creation before Creation! Catching my breath, I reread the early verses—this was God creating the universe, creating God’s palaces, creating eternity, and time, and angels, and light! Now God had begun on this little planet, third rock from a minor star…

You covered it with the Deep as with a mantle;
the waters stood higher than the mountains.

Yes! “The earth was empty and formless, and the Holy Spirit brooded (like a mother bird) over the deep…”

At your rebuke they fled;
at the voice of your thunder they hastened away.

They went up into the hills and down to the valleys beneath,
to the places you had appointed for them.

You set the limits that they should not pass;
they shall not again cover the earth
.

Yes! “And God divided the waters, and created the dry land…” This is so exciting!

O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.

Hallelujah! So many creatures…but how many were granted the ability to know that they know (or to know that they don’t know!)? To see your works with eyes that recognize your hand?

We praise you with our words, with our thoughts, with our hands, but most of all with our lives.

Great are you, Creator, and mighty to be praised!

Amen and amen.

https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1509a/