I will thank you because I am marvelously made; your works are wonderful, and I know it well. –Psalm 139:14
You, dear one, are marvelously made. You are unique. You have been gifted with talents and skills that only you, in concert with the Holy Spirit, can bring to fullest expression.
In worship today, we focused today on the Baptism of Jesus and on his divine blessing. We gave thanks for the gift of baptism and for the gift of the Holy Spirit–the advocate, the gift that keeps on giving, the presence of God that never leaves us and that journeys with us. We also acknowledged that this is not a tame, calm gift. Our incorporation into God’s family and our the fact that we are blessed, named, and claimed sets us off on a life-long journey as wild and wonderful as any carnival ride. It’s a Holy Collision of grace, love, and mercy. Think of it as a combination of bumper cars and a wild, wet water ride.
Annie Dillard said it well in her 1982 book Teaching a Stone to Talk:
“Does any-one have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake some day and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.”
The wonderful news about this wild, crazy ride through life is that we are very well-prepared because we are marvelously made. This week I invite you into a deeper exploration of what it means to be created in the image of God, to be intimately known and understood by the One who spoke the stars into the night sky and who breathed a wild and wonderful wind upon the waters.
Let us be thankful for the gift of humankind and for one another. Peace, blessing, and joy!
For Further Reflection
Click here for a beautiful visual reflection set to the hymn “Borning Cry” produced by Wolfie Productions. The lyrics and music are written by John Ylvisaker, #732 in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW). Click here for the lyrics and a reflection on Susan Stabile’s blog. Relax, enjoy, and know the presence of God in your life both this day and always.
As the week progresses, assemble pictures of you at various stages in your life. You might also wish to gather pictures of family members. Keep these in the area you set aside for your prayer and devotional time. Give thanks for the gift of life and for all the stages of the journey.