Devotion for August 8-10, 2017

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his
counselor?’ ‘Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be
glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).

The hand of God is often portrayed in Christian art as creating,
sustaining, and blessing His creation. Perhaps most recognizable
example is Michelangelo’s depiction on the ceiling of the Sistine
Chapel. God the Father’s hand reaches out to touch Adam with life—
the life that is given to all humans through the first man.
Sometimes in art, the hand of God is coming out of the sky or
reaching out from a cloud. On the back of one of our hymnals a
picture of a hand depicts God the Father, the First Person of the
Trinity. The Bible tells of God speaking “by the hand” of the
prophets, and is a reminder of God’s activity within His creation.
Yet, Creator and creation are dramatically unlike each other. God the
father is the everlasting Creator of the ends of the earth (Isa. 40:28).
How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable are His
ways (Romans 11:33)! God is truly independent from anyone or
anything.

The world, however, is totally dependant, and exists and operates
only as long as the Creator cares for and sustains it. When God
created everything He declared it to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
His creation was free from anxiety and sin. That all changed horribly with humanity’s questioning the Creator, and wanting for itself to “be
like God.” Ever since then, anxiety and sin has plagued the world.
Perhaps, you have been stressed lately, burdened by the cares of the
world or dilemmas of your own making. Anxiety looms large in
much of our daily life. Loneliness, lack of resources and unhealthy
relationships can make life seem not “very good” at all.

But God has not abandoned us. The hand of God has come into the
world and is active. God the father continually reaches into our lives
to touch us and all creation with the touch of life. God is independent
from everything else, but He has made Himself touchable through His
Son, Jesus. Jesus became flesh that His hand might heal and bless.
Jesus touches us with His Word, which “bespeaks us righteous.” God
may seem far off at times, but in the waters of baptism and when the
bread and wine and true body and true blood of Christ are received,
we can know that the hand of God has delivered the touch of life.
There exists an inseparable link and relationship between the created
world and the One who has Created it. The unapproachable has
made Himself approachable through Christ, the world’s Redeemer—
your Redeemer too.

PRAYER Almighty and ever-living God, You make us both to will
and to do those things that are good and acceptable in Your sight. Let
Your fatherly hand ever guide us and Your Holy Spirit ever be with
us to direct us in the knowledge and obedience of Your Word that we
may obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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The weekly worship services conducted by Lutheran Pastors
and coordinated through Faith, Hope and Peace Ministries (a
501(c)3 organization as recognized the Internal Revenue
Service) are provided at no cost to the attendees or the
hosting facilities. Contributions to support this ongoing
ministry may be made to “Faith, Hope and Peace Ministries”
and sent to: 432 S. Washington Street, Westmont, IL 60559