Devotion - January 15, 2021

Psalm 139:13–18 13. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16. Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18. Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

Reflection by Darlene Wagner

This is the most comforting, reassuring bit of scripture for those of us who were raised in churches that taught “human depravity”. Amidst a society that tells me that my body is somehow wrong, the Psalmist here provides an affirmation: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made!”. Granted, Psalm 51 says “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:4). This verse has been misused to bolster the dubious doctrine of “Original Sin”. Yet, that same Psalm also teaches that moral purity is possible: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). Psalm 139 expands upon this concept of God as the all-knowing Healer: “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Verse 16). Finally, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!” (Verse 17), proclaims how a great, lasting intimacy is possible with the Divine. Such a Psalm could never have been written about a God who rejects sinners for eternity in some contrived hell-fire.

Invocation To feel your love within, Great Father, now I pray; For every part of me you’ve fearfully and wonderfully made! To love myself as you have loved me all along, Dear Father, heal me, teach me, make me strong.

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