August 27th – Behold: a Man



Here is a simple direction to help find your way through the letter to the Hebrews.The first ten chapters consist of four sermons. Then comes the conclusion.
The four sermons deal with the four big questions which every age asks. Sermon One is the first two chapters and deals with the question everybody asks: Who am I? or What am I?, or, if you prefer the biblical expression, ‘What is man?’ (meaning a human) – is he merely the product of selfish genes? an accident of chance causes?
Like the other sermons it has a text: this one is from Psalm 8 which asks the question:
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the starts, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8: 3-5
That doesn’t mean we humans are too small to be of any value in a vast universe. It means the opposite: what is it that makes us so important in God’s universe? Why are we so privileged?
The Bible says you are not an animal with a big brain! You are made to be in a privileged relationship with the God who made you. Harry Fosdick once scornfully dealt with the answer to the mystery of mankind as given by the analytical chemist: “What is man? Why he is:
Enough fat to make 7 bars of soap
Enough lime to whitewash a hen house
Enough magnesium to fill a toy canon
Enough sulphur to put the tips on 200 matches
Enough sugar to fill a small bowl
Enough iron to make a medium sized nail mix with several pails of water, add a few trace elements and you have a man!”
O no you don’t!! You are much more than the sum of your boiled down bodily parts. Hebrews says that you are superior to God’s angels – you are an adopted son of God – and if you say ‘If we humans are all that important, why don’t we see mankind being as God intended him to be?’. The sermon gives the answer
Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. But we see Jesus,
A Prayer:
In your mercy, Lord, reach out to us, your ailing creatures, for we seek not merely to be cured by your touch, but made whole.
Now read Genesis Chapter 2.

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