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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All That You Have

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-"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day."-Genesis 1: 1-5

So this is the very beginning, the verses which lead off the Bible and the story of God's relationship with this world and its inhabitants.  And it sounds an important note.  The first thing the Biblical authors sought to teach about God, and thus the first thing God wants us to know, is that we are living in God's world.  Have you ever really thought about that?  Think about it for a moment.  You know, it reminds me of when I was a kid, living at home with my parents.  Sure I had my own room, my own clothes, my own bed etc..., but none of it was really "mine."  I hadn't paid for it, worked for it or earned it.  What I had was mine because my parents had decided I should have it, thus all that I had was a gift.  It belonged to me only because another had shown me grace and love.

And if you think about it, nothing has really changed.  All that I have, all that any of us have, is not ours because we are so great, so gifted, so deserving, but rather it is ours because God decided we should have it.  That awesome tree in your front yard that shades your house; it's God's.  The amazing sunset descending over the Rocky Mountains which you can still conjure in your head; it's God's.  Those bits and pieces of nature, put together to make your TV, upon which you watched the Cubs win last night; it's God's.  All of it, from trees to mountains, to the sun itself, all that surrounds us does not belong to us.  Instead, we should remember that all these amazing things have been given to us to enjoy and experience as an act of grace, an act which we neither deserved nor earned.  We live in God's world.  That's the beginning of the story, and perhaps the most important part altogether.

Prayer:  Holy God, I thank you for giving me all that I have in this world.  I thank you for that which brings me joy and shelter and comfort.  Please help me to be a good steward of these gifts, and to remember those who have been harmed by them.  I pray in Jesus' name.  Amen.

[Phillip Blackburn, Fist Presbyterian Church]

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