March 14

“…you shaped, you formed, you know…”

Scripture:  Psalm 139: 13-16                                                                                                           

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;  
      you formed me in my mother’s womb.  
   I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!  
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made!  
      I worship in adoration—what a creation!  
   You know me inside and out,  
      you know every bone in my body;  
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,  
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something.  
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;  
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you,  
   The days of my life all prepared  
      before I’d even lived one day.

Reader: This is the word of the Lord.   Response: Thanks be to God.

Some thoughts:
In a time when giving attention to building “self-esteem, “self-worth,” and “self-identity” (What is the common word?) are so prevalent in our culture, we have discovered that giving everyone a trophy doesn’t do it! Authentic self-esteem, worth, identity, and everything else comes when we see our true selves from God’s perspective and realize we are loved dearly by the One who made us uniquely male and female. (Our identity is not in our sex.) In this passage written by King David, we see “self-worth” in the context of “God-worth.” God didn’t make a mistake when he made you. He knew you long before anyone had any idea you would even exist. Some of us live with greater challenges than others, but we are all wondrous works of God’s creative hand with unique gifts and skills. Though we may not see it or believe it in some cases, there are no “mistake people” along the way. We are all made “in the image of God.” God’s hand was on us from the moment of our conception through our last day on this earth. We read in the Scriptures that we were known from the foundation of the world. The image of God is stamped on every life from the moment of conception, a God-given truth that has been rejected by many in our current secular culture which has rejected God and created its own version of truth, disregarding the sanctity of life. Do you see here God’s commitment is to you as a unique person?  Note we are not “special.” If everyone is “special,” then no one is. “Unique” is a much better word. It means there is no one else in all creation quite like you! God wanted it that way. His imagination is unending. This “uniqueness” is what keeps life so interesting! In Jesus Christ, we have the most unique human being who has ever lived on earth, one whose life, death, resurrection, and ascension brought redemption to everyone who has ever lived.

Music: “He Knows My Name”    Tommy Walker (An old “contemporary” song!!)

Hymn: He Knows My Name Tommy Walker

I have a Maker, He formed my heart.

Before even time began my life was in His hand.

He knows my name, He knows my ev’ry thought,

He sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call.

I have a Father, He calls me His own.

He’ll never leave me no matter where I go.

He knows my name, He knows my ev’ry thought,

He sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call.

Prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing that you have made, and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent. Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that, lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, we may receive from you, the God of all mercy, perfect forgiveness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
–Thomas Cranmer, 1489-1556