5 Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
   and crowned them with glory and honour.

6 You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
   you have put all things under their feet,

7 all sheep and oxen,
   and also the beasts of the field,

8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
   whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

These verses are tremendously important but at the same time terribly dangerous.

The importance lies in the vision of the human creation. Human beings “them” have been made “a little lower than God.” We are “crowned… with glory and honour.” This gives the lie to any vision of humankind that views us as despicable, irredeemable, eternally lost, or damned. 

To be human is to be a luminous spark of light bearing in the world the image and likeness of God. The “them” in verse 5 clearly refers back to “human beings” in verse 4. The extraordinary dignity of which HP writes is not confined to one class of human beings, one culture or one religious belief system. HP affirms that all people are “made… a little lower than God.” Every person ever created has been “crowned… with glory and honour.”

In order to avoid the danger in these verses, the following verses 6-8 must be read in this context. It is only when I am living in tune with the glory and beauty of my true nature that it is safe for me to exercise “dominion over the works of God’s hands.” Without the luminous vision of my true nature as a living embodiment of beauty and truth, I will abuse my power as a ruler in creation and bring into the world that destruction and chaos of which there is such abundant evidence everywhere we look.

It was a reckless gamble for God to entrust to people like me the measure of power granted to human beings. Tragically, I have failed to honour the responsibility that is part of my true nature.

What causes me to live so far below the glory and beauty of my true nature?

Lord help me to take seriously the profound responsibility for the well-being of all creation that is part of being created in your image and likeness.