All creation is wondrous. From the vast grandeur of galaxies and solar systems to the beauty of the Coral Reef or Uluru, creation speaks of the one who creates. The Psalmists often sing praises to God for his incredible workmanship in creation: 'The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands' (Psalm 19:1).
And then there is the miracle of life, including the human race. We often wonder when we consider God’s heavens how humans fit into the scheme of things (Psalm 8:3–4). Our lives can seem to pale into insignificance when compared to the expansive universe and can seem trivial when we are chomping on a packet of Twisties watching TV.
But God says we humans are made a little lower than the angels, are crowned with glory and majesty and are made to rule over all creation (Psalm 8:5).
How can this be?
God said: 'Let us make humankind in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth' (Genesis 1:26). The miracle of human life holds great mystery and wonder. So much so that many generations of scientists and philosophers have been led to ponder and study even the tiniest workings of human life.
In Psalm 139, David marvelled at his own bodily creation. Knitted together in his mother’s womb, he appreciated that his life was fearfully and wonderfully made. Even though hidden from sight, God saw his unformed body and planned out all his days. It is like this for all of us. And since God is love (1 John 4:8) and his creation is a display of that love, he made us so we can enjoy these blessings and love him.
All this seems all the more incredible when we think upon the potential held in a miniscule embryo, just moments after fertilisation takes place. At that moment, as sperm penetrates the egg and begins rapid division of cells, a new life commences. In the smallness of that embryo lies all the information required for a complete human being capable of loving God, all creation and others. We all began our lives as embryos.
- ‘Fertilisation: How human life begins’ YouTube video
- 'Life in the womb (conception to 9 months in 4 minutes)' YouTube video
- 'Real photography of the journey from a sperm to human baby' (compilation of photos by Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson) YouTube video
- '9 months in the womb: Fetal development through ultrasound' YouTube video
- ‘Bioethics: A Primer’ by Lutheran bioethicist Gilbert Meilaender (2005), see pages 118–19