Saturday, 14 October 2017

Life Star

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
        Hath had elsewhere its setting,

          And cometh from afar:

        Not in entire forgetfulness,

        And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come
        From God, who is our home:

William Wordsworth “ Ode : Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.
My mother always said that babies know a lot more than we think they do. When you consider the reasonably similar appearance of most babies, it is quite amazing how differently they all turn out. Every person soon demonstrates their own unique personality, preferences, disposition, talents and weaknesses, as well as physical characteristics. Is this simply the product of a comingling of genes and environment?

To me, the lines above written by William Wordsworth, are some of the profoundest sentiments written in the English language. We are not born without prior consideration by God. The Bible tells us that we were thought about before God even created this physical world:
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Ephesians 1:4

And that God created us with our birth and extent of our lives planned by Him:

For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”  (Psalm 139:13-16)
We may not remember our life in the womb, but God assures us that He knew us then and was with us from our conception. He has implanted in us a soul, that deepest expression of our humanity and link to the eternal. We are birthed from the thoughts of God, created in His image, and if we are committed to Him through Jesus Christ, return to our Heavenly home.
For the past two years, I have worked with people who are severely disabled, both physically and intellectually. Some ill-informed folk would argue that they have no reason or purpose to be alive. Yet I can attest unequivocally that working with them has been the greatest privilege. Each one is a unique personality and has their own way of interacting with others. Each has a range of likes and interests and has ways of enjoying life, even with all its challenges. Each has a soul. They are inspiring and make their community and this world a richer place for their being in it. God does not make “useless” humans.
Our conviction of the existence of the soul inherent in every human is the reason that Christians strongly oppose abortion and euthanasia, trusting God to decide the span of our lives and caring deeply for others during this lifespan.

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