Psalms 119:73–80 (NRSV)
Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
I know, O Lord, that your judgments are right,
and that in faithfulness you have humbled me.
Let your steadfast love become my comfort
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
Let the arrogant be put to shame,
because they have subverted me with guile;
as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
Let those who fear you turn to me,
so that they may know your decrees.
May my heart be blameless in your statutes,
so that I may not be put to shame.
I marvel at the human body. If you have known me for more than 10 minutes, you know I follow soccer, but I admire the achievements of all sports. Your hands have made me and fashioned me. I am in awe of the things our bodies can do: from bicycle kicks to a hundred meters in less than 10 seconds. The muscles and tendons, hard work and sacrifice, skill and concentration that unite nearly perfectly to produce such things are amazing. The same is true of a piece of music beautifully played and the years of research to develop a cure for a disease. What God has fashioned in our bodies and minds is beyond words, and I am grateful and joyful for the beauty, power, and potential in them.
It doesn’t stop there. Take a walk outside and see the beauty all around us: a magnificent oak in the fall, the awesome power of Great Falls, the taste of a meal prepared with love.
I could also write about the things that are not so beautiful. Our hands have felled many of those magnificent oaks for little more than trinkets. The mind capable of finding a cure can also be vengeful and greedy. Many of my brothers and sisters don’t have access to those cures. We have frequently used our power irresponsibly and selfishly. Church is the place we gather to recognize and confess those abuses, but also to worship and be renewed. The church community rebuilds and in some way cleans me. It reminds and strengthens me to appreciate and participate in God’s Kingdom coming.
Lord, help us to stop more often to simply be in awe of the simple things: catching a baseball, riding a bike, watching a sunset. Help us to appreciate these marvelous things and realize what gifts God has given us. May we work to share those gifts. Amen.