Not We Ourselves

Be ye sure that the Lord he is God;

it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves; *

we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

While praying with my wife this morning, this verse from the Jubilate canticle jumped out at her. In particular, the second line "it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves." We talked a bit about how certain types of atheists, in looking to evolutionary models for explanation of origins invariably move from merely scientific questions of how we got here into philosophical questions of meaning and purpose, which of course are entirely outside the scope of the scientific method to explain.

There's a kind of belief that takes the mechanics of evolution and transforms it into a way of underscoring the humanist project, setting humanity at the apex of the universe. In that line of thinking "we ourselves" have indeed made ourselves as evolutionary needs formed unique solutions that resulted in humanity and its purported superlative status. This is a deceptive line of thinking that plays into our narcissism and spurs arrogance in those who espouse this line of thinking.

The Christian belief, to the contrary, recognizes our deep dependence on God for the existence of all things, including us. We don't merely look to Jesus for our salvation, but for our very existence he "upholds the universe by the word of his power" (Hebrews 1:3). Thus we are utterly dependent on God's grace not just to punch a ticket to heaven (which is a pretty weak way of viewing salvation), but to sustain the world and us as part of that world. Even natural processes are dependent on God's loving continuance to keep them going--whether that be evolution, medical care, or what our forebears called Providence, the divine care to supply the needs of all his creatures.

How wonderful to think that God loves you and me so much that he takes care of our day-to-day needs whether we deserve them or not. If you are alive, you are a beneficiary of the grace of God that is common to every living being. And you have much to be thankful for. I encourage you to take a moment and thank God for at lest one little thing that you may tend to overlook or take for granted. For myself, I am grateful for air conditioning, as I think of those West who are suffering through an unprecedented heat wave in modern history. I also ask God's mercy to keep those who are enduring such a rough time as this. What are you grateful for? Who might you be praying for to receive a similar outpouring of grace?

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