Mission Glory, number one. Welcome to Welling For Your Spiritual Health and Spiritual Growth. I’m starting a new series called Mission Glory. Mission and glory. It’s a question which has been discussed over centuries, millennia. Philosophers have thought about it. Theologians have commented. Even children ask these kind of questions.
What is life about? And more importantly, what is your life about? Because life seems so confusing. In the circumstances in which we find ourselves when we cannot explain what we are facing, it seems like life is not worth living. Thomas Hobbes used to say life is solitary. It is nasty. It is brutish. It is short.
But we don’t have to have such a skeptical view of life, even though sometimes it feels like it. After you eat a nice meal, they give you a fortune cookie. You open and try to find out what tomorrow is. And then the slip is blank. Is life more like a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces don’t seem to fit, some pieces are repeated, and some of the pieces are missing and it’s extremely frustrating? So much so, I saw a bumper sticker says if you are not confused, you don’t understand the situation.
As we begin the series, I want you to think about it as a series of self-examination, a time when you can evaluate life, regardless of what season in which you find yourself, that it can be a time of orientation and reorientation as well. As our anchor passage for this series, I would like you to go to one of the four Creation Psalms, a Psalm that will anchor your life, which will give you a definition, but also differentiation and then direction for all that you’re developing as a human being, to be and to do as your mission for His glory.
Most of the Psalm has to do with pre-fall, just after creation, as pristine and beautiful like you were meant to be and you were made to be. But then so many complexities have now crushed your spirit, have confused your mind that we need to go through a process of discovery and determination.
I would like to read the whole Psalm out for you. And in fact, you can join me in reading the Psalm. We’re going to put two verses at a time. So I’ll read one verse, and you read the other verse, or we can read all the verses aloud together. I read this Psalm, Psalm 8. It’s called To the choir director, choirmaster, to the Gittith. A Psalm of David.
Let’s read aloud. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the Earth. You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained, set in place, what is man?
What is man that you are mindful of him, and the Son of Man that you care for him? You have made man a little lower than the– Let me read that again well. Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands. You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the parts of the sea.
Now let’s really read it aloud together. O Lord, our Lord. How majestic is your name in all the Earth? The mood of the Psalm is mission. The message of the Psalm is that you’re the means to God’s glory. Whenever I tell my grandkids a story, they ask further questions, my children used to do that, so much so we, parents and grandparents, had to be prepared for every angle of even stories that we make up for them. And on the spot, you’ve got to be ready to add to your story to make it just right to keep their attention.
Those five questions plus one, they’re called the fundamental basic questions of stories. Journalists ask them. Philosophers, like I said earlier, have been probing them. Theologians have commented about them. But you cannot escape them. So we’re going to process the whole issue of mission glory through those five plus one questions, the five Ws.
Rudyard Kipling, who was born in India like I was, one of his short stories, The Elephant’s Child, actually turns it into a rhyme and poetry when he says, “I keep six honest serving-men. They taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Where and When and How and Where and Who.”
Those are inquisitors interrogatives we call them, and you feel like you’re in an inquisition when your kids and grandkids and students ask those kind of questions. But that’s how we’re going to think through your mission, His glory. I want you to follow the series with me, this part of how we would develop as human beings, regardless of what time and place and season in which we find ourselves, so that the rest of our lives, our mission would be His glory.