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The Works of His Hands

From Rev. Phil Schnarr
September 1, 2020

My favorite hobby is to do things with my hands. I like to use hand tools to fix things and do a lot of DIY stuff around the house. Part of this is because it was an economic necessity in raising a family on a tight budget. But I have also experienced great delight in seeing something change for the better and become of greater value and use. When people complete projects of just about any kind it can feel like magic. A transformation has occurred. And in the New Church there is an important frame of mind the Lord asks us to cultivate during the process of doing our work.
In the New Testament, Jesus put His hands on people many times. Mostly to heal them. His hands were important vehicles for communicating His Divine mercy, power and love. His hands symbolized His reaching out to make the world a better place for people to live and grow in a spiritual way.
So it might take you by surprise that the Writings speak of how the works of our own hands are often not so great. This happens when we view ourselves as the potter and our accomplishments as strictly our own creations, taking the entire credit for the clay vessels which can fill our hearts with pride. This is a denial of the Lord’s creative force which enlivens all of our efforts and lies behind (or within) all worthy accomplishments.
In this world we are not given to see the Lord’s unceasing influx, but the truth is that, “In Him we live, move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
When we believe and in good conscience acknowledge that the Lord is the source and prime mover in our lives, a true and almost magical transformation happens within us. The works of our hands are bringing delight from a spiritual affection which far surpasses the fleeting pleasures that our natural minds prefer.
In this time of disruption to our usual handy work, perhaps there will be time for us to reflect on how we view our accomplishments. May our underlying spirit be stirred by these words in Isaiah,:
“… O Jehovah, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter, and all we the work of Your hands.”
(Isaiah 64:8)

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