Sermon 2 Epiphany Yr B

2 Epiphany Yr B, 18/01/2009

Ps 139:1-6, 13-18

Rev. Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson

Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, &

Chaplain of The Good Samaritan Society’s

South Ridge Village, Medicine Hat, Alberta


“The wonder of being known by God”


God knows all things. In theological language, this refers to God’s omniscience. Think of how great God’s knowledge is, especially in light of human knowledge. For example, in most fields of knowledge today, the information is mind-boggling, and even experts struggle to keep up with the newest knowledge. Yet God knows all things in every single field of knowledge. Unlike we humans, God knows things in totality, whereas even the best human minds know imperfectly, and in part. How great God is!

In verses thirteen to eighteen of Psalm 139, the psalmist worships God with reverential wonder, awe, amazement, astonishment, by meditating on the miracle of his own creation, birth and life. The all-knowing God determined the psalmist’s personality and his life’s destiny even before he was born into the world. The psalmist, overwhelmed with God’s creative power, knowledge and love, says: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Even though he didn’t live with a scientific worldview of human beings; he worships God in awe and wonder of it all. With our scientific information of the human being, I think we can actually perhaps even be in greater awe and wonder at the gift of life, and how God creates each of us. Consider for a moment, the following scientific information as described by Dr. John Medina, a genetic engineer at the University of Washington, then ask yourself: Did this all happen by accident? Can human existence be totally explained scientifically? Or is God the true Creator of human beings? Listen to the words of Dr. Medina:

The average human heart pumps over one thousand gallons a day, over 55 million gallons in a lifetime. This is enough to fill 13 upper tankers. It never sleeps, beating 2.5 billion times in a lifetime.

The lungs contain one thousand miles of capillaries. The process of exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide is so complicated that “it is more difficult to exchange O2, for CO2 than for a man shot out of a cannon to carve the Lord’s Prayer on the head of a pin as he passes by.”

DNA contains about two thousand genes per chromosome—1.8 meters of DNA are folded into each cell nucleus. A nucleus is six microns long. This is like putting 30 miles of fishing line into a cherry pit. And it isn’t simply stuffed in. It is folded in. If folded one way, the cell becomes a skin cell. If another way, a liver cell, and so forth. To write out the information in one cell would take three hundred volumes, each volume five hundred pages thick. The human body contains enough DNA that if it were stretched out, it would circle the sun 260 times.

The body uses energy efficiently. If an average adult rides a bike for one hour at ten miles per hour, it uses the amount of energy contained in three ounces of carbohydrate. If a car were this efficient with gasoline, it would get nine hundred miles to the gallon.1

I don’t know about you, but I find those scientific details about the human body an affirmation of God’s knowledge, creativity and love towards us. I cannot see or believe how these details all happened into existence by pure chance or accident. This is the handiwork of God the Creator of heaven and earth, and you and me. This scientific knowledge does not lead me away from God and his ability to create. Rather, it draws me closer to God and makes me more in awe of it all. I, like the psalmist am amazed, astounded, astonished at how great this Creator-God of ours is. If God went into such scientific detail to weave together my body, then I, like the psalmist, cannot help but bow in wonder and worship God with reverential awe, and say: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” We are truly blessed by God from the beginning of our existence on. Amen.

1 Cited from: Craig Brian Larson & Drew Zahn, Editors, Perfect Illustrations For Every Topic And Occasion (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2002), pp. 135-136.