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Monday, February 18, 2013

Today’s Reading | Psalm 119:73–77

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. (NRSV)


“Your hands have made and fashioned me” brings to mind the image of a potter concentrating, with loving care as she or he spins the wheel, working the wet clay, creating a form that is unique, beautiful—one of a kind. These are comforting words for they confirm God’s love for us, but they also remind us that we have a responsibility to God for making us who are. What can we do in return for this gift?

It is easy to get caught up in what we think has to be done in order to “keep up” with everyone else and the pace of our lives. But is that our purpose? Is that why the great potter designed us and gave us life? In these verses from Psalm 119, I feel that we are being given a call to be a reflection of God’s love by the way we live our lives. It behooves us to remember God’s laws of love, compassion, and forgiveness, right, wrong, mercy, and justice, and to use them as our guideposts for living. Not easy. Our human frailties and many obstacles distract us or get in our way.

There have been some spectacular sunrises over Lake Michigan this winter. I have stood in awe at my window, sometimes overcome by emotion because of their great beauty. The colors don’t linger, but the few minutes are a powerful reminder to me of the gift of life, a new day—a clean slate, another chance to be a mirror of God’s love.


Awaken, O friends!
Radiate the light you are!
Do not let fear keep you from the truth of your being,
nor illusions veil the innate beauty of your soul.
Awaken! Know that you are a holy chalice
Of light and love, for the Divine guest dwells in you.
You are the holy temple of the Beloved.
“You are the light of the world!”
(prayer from Meditations and Mandalas: Simple Songs for the Spiritual Life by Nan C. Merrill)

Reflection written by Nan Birmingham, member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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