Week 24 Saturday

Divine Handiwork

Today’s scripture selection: Ephesians 1-3

Key verse: Ephesians 2:10

     Some years ago I came across a small hand-tatted cross – as in “made by typing knots in thread and using a small shuttle to form lace” – not as in “getting’ all tatted up” tattooing.

     It was in a small drawer of an old secretary desk that my grandparents owned and I inherited.  No telling how many years it had been there.  Now, I carry it in one of my Bibles.

     I’ve always appreciated handiwork like that.  It takes patience; skill; and I’d like to think some love to put together something like that together.  It’s a simple, but very real, work of art – all handmade.

     Well, did you know you are God’s handiwork?

     That’s what Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians.

     “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

     I love that passage of scripture.

     So often we are tempted to think we are “self-made” and we are proud of it.  Sometimes we think that all we have been, all we are, and all we will be – it’s up to us.

     But we know better, don’t we?  We are the product of so many influences; so many ingredients.  Family influences; cultural influences; our own special gifts – and faults.

     But the scripture reminds us we aren’t just bits of mechanical obstruction.  Neither are we just the result of genetic accident.

     We are divinely created beings – gifted and touched by God’s own hand.  We are God’s handiwork.  And we all have purpose and beauty – just as designed.

     So, when you are a bit down – a little discouraged – remember that.  Remember you are a beautiful creation.

You are not a hand-tatted bit of lace.  But you are a child of God – and that is a wonderful thing indeed.  Just ask God.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for touching me with your creative hand and heart.  AMEN.

    

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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