My five-year-old loves to draw. Some days he happily draws from dawn until dusk. We can’t possibly keep all of his drawings, so I have created a system. The best artworks go on the fridge, get mailed to grandparents, or placed in a folder. The rest go in the recycling bin. I try to do this discreetly, but occasionally I’m sprung:
‘Who put this in the recycling?! You had NO RIGHT to throw that away! I MADE it!’.
Have you ever contemplated the fact that you are a work of art? You were not ‘self-made’ but were created by God.
Read Psalm 139:13–16 and Psalm 100:3. What stands out to you?
Every artwork reveals something about the artist. It might reveal the artist’s interests, capabilities and concerns. The account of creation in Genesis tells us that God made humankind ‘in his image’.
Read Genesis 1:26–31 and consider: what might it mean to be made in God’s image?
The Holy Scriptures also tell us that when we were created, God breathed life into us.
Read Genesis 2:7 and Job 33:4. When did God breathe life into you?
The Scriptures tell us that our lives are no accident. We were not an afterthought. God created us on purpose, for a purpose. He knew what he was doing. This is true of everyone, irrespective of whether or not they were a ‘surprise’, or feel their life has no great meaning.
Read Jeremiah 1:5 and Ephesians 1:4. What hope do these Scriptures give you today?
We live in uncertain times. For some people, the thought of getting pregnant and bringing a baby into the world can be scary. What if I can’t cope? What if something terrible happens?
Read Psalm 127:3. How can this passage transform our fears into courage, even confidence
Just as my son guards his drawings, so too God guards his creation. My son guards his drawings with his temper. God guards our lives with his law.
Read Exodus 20:13 and Matthew 19:18.
It is not our right to take human life. Not our own. Not others. When we were conceived, God breathed life into us and one day he will take our breath away. The timing is his, not ours.
Read 1 Samuel 2:6; Ecclesiastes 8:8 and Job 1:21. What are some ways we might be tempted to take matters of life and death into our own hands? What might encourage you to surrender your life and death into God’s hands?
All human life belongs to God and is valued by him. In this sense, we can say that all human life is sacred. Yet for those who have been baptised, the sacredness of life takes on an even more profound meaning.
Why is this? The following passages offer insights: John 3:5; Acts 2:38; Colossians 1:13–14 and 1 Corinthians 6:11.
For those who are in Christ, our lives are sacred twice: sacred because God breathed life into us when he created us, and sacred because he breathed his Holy Spirit into us in baptism. Neither are acts we can take responsibility for. They are pure grace.
Read Titus 3:5–6 and 1 Peter 2: 9–10. Take some time to close your eyes and notice the breath of life God has put in you.
Chelsea Pietsch is secretary of Lutherans for Life, which is accountable to the LCA through the church’s Commission on Social and Bioethical Questions: www.lutheransforlife.lca.org.au
This feature story comes from The Lutheran September 2020. Visit the website to find out more about The Lutheran or to subscribe.