When something is made well it shows. The craftsmanship and the quality are evident. We notice the attention to detail from the earliest moments of the design right up to the finished product—a wondrous work to behold. The psalmist makes this proclamation concerning the Lord. He sees and celebrates the way God has fashioned his life from the very beginning into an awesome creation. The psalmist’s language points to one who can take various threads and weave them into a masterpiece of his or her own making and purpose. This heartfelt acknowledgment of God moves the psalmist from realization to exclamation!
While visiting in the home of an older couple, I commented on the layout of their beautiful home. “Who designed this for you?” I asked. “Well,” the wife smiled, “we not only designed it, we built it, and now we live in it. This is our dream.” From the moment they conceived the idea to the moment they moved in and occupied the space, this was their home.
To acknowledge that all we are and hope to be rests entirely in God’s hands signals a decision of discipleship that can lead to humble and reverent living. To relinquish ourselves to the One who made us will transform who we are and the purpose for our lives. God designed us, built us, and desires to live within us. This holy recognition of the One who knitted us together in the beginning can lead us to a holy response in life. We begin to see our lives as God’s valued handiwork. God invested the entirety of God’s self in each one of us. Our very being is stamped “Handcrafted by the Almighty.” Now we have the blessed privilege of living out that designation every day.
Lord, you made me. You understand me. You value me. I praise you today. Amen.
The Gospel lesson stresses the cost of disci- pleship. One of the costs involves family, but the implication is that there are compensations as well as costs. Belonging to God affects the way in which one belongs to others. Traditional pat- terns, kinship and otherwise, are transformed. This insight lies at the heart of Paul’s letter to Philemon concerning Philemon’s slave, Onesimus. Without directly requesting that Philemon set Onesimus free, Paul clearly suggests that the ties that bind per- sons as brothers and sisters in Christ transform traditional social patterns, including slavery. Both Jeremiah 18 and Psalm 139 af rm our belongingness to God, individually and corporately.
• Read Jeremiah 18:1-11. How has the “word of the Lord” come to you? What obstacles prevent you from placing your- self entirely in God’s hands?
• Read Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18. How does your life evidence God’s handiwork?
• Read Philemon 1-21. What person or group needs your advocacy in the name of Christ?
• Read Luke 14:25-33. How have you counted the cost of fol- lowing Jesus?
Respond by posting a prayer.