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September 21 Devotion
Rev. Linda Williams
Especially as we move from one season into the next, I marvel at Creation, the beauty of the heavens, the work of God’s creativity and love that we see in creation, and with the Psalmist, we can say, “O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1)
Yet, we could begin to wonder when we see the vastness of all creation, when we look up at the night sky and see the moon and the stars, or remember a trip to the ocean or to the mountains, and then — like the Psalmist — wonder how we human beings count in the scheme of things (see Psalm 8:4). Is God really mindful of us? Are we really so special — you/me — one person among 7+ billion people in this world.
Yet scripture tells us that we are. God has made us just a little lower than God, has crowned us with glory and honor. In another one of the Psalms (139:13), it says, "It was you, O God, who knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I think experience tells us too that we are beautifully and wonderfully made. When we see children — maybe it’s the children we are still parenting in our own homes, or kids in the neighborhood, or your own grandchildren, great grandchildren, or the memory of your own child when he or she was born — in them we can see the hand of God. See the love of God.
But sometimes life clouds over our awareness of our uniqueness — causes you, causes me to forget. Just as all the lights of the city can cause the stars to fade in the night sky. Life experiences can cause each one of us to no longer remember that we were fearfully and wonderfully made, that God’s eyes beheld our unformed substance and said that we were good.
Regretfully life experiences do not always affirm that truth. Children and teens can be ridiculed by their classmates — made fun of because they are too short, or too skinny. Too tall, or too fat. Too dumb, or too smart. And then as adults, we can become too overwhelmed with the all the tasks of life — finding someone to love and be loved by, earning a living, raising a family, planning for retirement, coping with health problems, grieving the losses of life. Coping with the pandemic of COVID or the pandemic of racism. The list could go on — but the point is, that in this process of living we can loose sight of our uniqueness.
Yet sometimes when we watch children playing, we see that life experiences have not overshadowed their awareness of how special they are, how loved they are. I was reminded of that truth recently when I heard again this story — the story of a mother who was concerned that her little boy might be really scared by a thunderstorm, might be really frightened when the lightning flashed and the thunder loudly exploded. When she went running into his room to reassure him, to comfort him, he said — “O, it’s OK Mommy, God was just taking my picture.” Now we might chuckle at the story or dismiss it as childish thinking, not seasoned or sophisticated! Or maybe we as season/sophisticated adults can benefit from this child’s profound simplicity — life experiences had not taught him that he was not special, not loved. Rather he knew that God loved him so much, God took his picture!
So I would invite each one of us the next time the sky flashes with lightning — the next time you see a child — or the next time someone wants to take to take your picture — think of it as a time to celebrate your individual uniqueness. An experience to remember that each one of us………have been beautifully and wonderfully made and loved by our Creator.
— Rev. Linda
Adult Spiritual Formation Resources
New Voices...New Verses...
Bible Study on the Book of James
Join us Thursday, September 24 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom; we will be meeting for a focused Bible study on the New Testament Book of James.
In this week’s session we will continue with our discussion of the very practical writings of James. Max Lucado includes in his book on James a story about Francis of Assisi who once invited an apprentice to go with him to a nearby village to preach. The young monk quickly agreed, seizing an opportunity to hear his teacher speak. When they arrived in the village, Francis began to visit with the people. Click here for more information.