Sunday, June 06, 2021
In my current course our instructor shares something from Scripture each week, here is her posting for this week (and my response).
Scripture for the week to remind you that every each one of you is special.
Psalms 139:13 – 16: You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knitted me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
You are wonderfully made and are God's creation. Remember God loves you, and all your days are recorded in his book. (1) In what ways are you wonderfully made? (2) Do you count your blessings, and (3) can you name them one by one?
Being reminded of how much God loves us is always welcome!
Counting our blessings is something we inherit from our Jewish brethren. It comes from the Talmud (Menachot 43b) and according to Jewish tradition you are to count, actually recite at least 100 blessings per day. This sounds a bit daunting at first, but they can add up quickly if one is observant.
- Thank the Lord for the new day,
- for the breakfast on your table,
- for the water you clean and groom with,
- for the clothes you have to wear,
- for the house you live in,
- for your health (or recovery if you are sick),
- for the air we breathe
We have seven right there, and we have not even left the breakfast table yet!
There is also the Shema, a blessing every Jewish male is to recite twice every day, morning and night. The Shema begins, “Hear, O Israel: G-d is our Lord, G-d is one” (Kriegel, 2021). The full Shema is three paragraphs from the Torah (the first 5 books of our Old Testament), from Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Deuteronomy 11:13-21; and Numbers 15:37-41 (Rich, 2020).
So, to answer the questions:
- I am wonderfully made in the image of my Lord and God (Genesis 1:27), how much more wonderful can that be?! I am reminded here of the fact that we are creations in His image, and the complexities of our very being, as well as the world in which we live, are testimonies to “order-creation science” (McKelvey, 2001).
- Do I count my blessings? To be honest, not nearly as often as I should!
- Can I name them one by one? Along with my answer to #2, while I have tried this a few times (to count at least 100 blessings per day), this is a lesson I am still learning from our Jewish roots.
Kriegel, L. (2021). THE SHEMA: A MONTHLY JOURNAL OF RELIGION AND PUBLIC LIFE. First Things, , 1-4. https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/scholarly-journals/shema/docview/2492712967/se-2?accountid=7374
McKelvey, B. (2001). What is complexity science? Is it really order-creation science? Emergence. 3(1). 137-157. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.330.5792&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Menachot 43b: The William Davidson Talmud. https://www.sefaria.org/Menachot.43b.17-18?lang=bi
Rich, T. (2020). Shema. Judaism 101. https://www.jewfaq.org/shemaref.htm