Homily Not Self-Made

June 16th, 2020 by admin-su




St Francis 14th 6.2020         Not Self-Made, Trinity 2-20, Using Psalm 100

We have probably heard the phrase he is a self-made man or she is a self-made woman. I have in my life met such a person, as you may have but we’ve all heard of many. In the past they were the cotton barons of the industrial revolution or the oil barons of the US. Today such a person might be Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos or some other techno-baron; anybody who started with nothing and ends up with everything.


These are the self-made of the world and each country has some.

But this saying contradicts Psalm 100 which quite plainly tells us “Know that the Lord is God. It is He Who made us, and not we ourselves.” (Ps 100.3)

Many Bible translations today simply say that God made us and we are his. But the King James Bible and a few newer translations still remind us that we didn’t make ourselves. I think we need to remember that there are no self-made men or women, we are all children of God. I wonder if the abundance of so-called self-made people subconsciously influenced those who compiled the more recent Bible versions, hence the change in verse 3 of that psalm.

The psalmist wouldn’t agree that someone is self-made; he knows that we are all God-made. And being God-made means that we all share something of God in us. We are made in God’s image. Sometimes its hard for some to grasp that.

The psalmist in last week’s psalm couldn’t grasp it, we hear him ask What are mortals, that you should be mindful of them; mere human beings, that you should seek them out? You have made them little lower than the angels and crown them with glory and honour.” (Ps 8.5-6) Again this psalm reiterates that God made us; but he didn’t just make us like some toy you wind up and let loose. God made us and he is mindful of us, seeks us out and wants to guide us; he is careful of us and cares for us.

Jesus was (and still is) the same. We read in Matthew’s gospel set for today “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were bewildered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matt 9.36)

Jesus didn’t just observe the people’s problems, he did something about it.

Jesus went throughout all the towns… preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness. (Matt 9.35)

And he went even further, sending out his disciples to do the same thing.

Jesus sent out these twelve, instructing them… Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.” (Matt 10.5,8)

Sometimes we all need a reminder that you and I are a child of God,

And as such we can count on him to care for us no matter what and he seeks after us no matter what.


In the midst of this crisis there are probably some (perhaps even some of us) who think that God has forgotten us and abandoned us.

The people of Israel thought that in the midst of one of their many troubles and God reminded them “Israel said, The Lord has abandoned me, the Lord has forgotten me.” But God replies through the Prophet Isaiah “Can a woman forget her baby who nurses at her breast?… Even if mothers were to forget, I could never forget you! Look, I have inscribed your name on my palms” (Isaiah 49.14-16)


God says the same thing to you and me telling us he can never forget us because our names are inscribed on his palms and in his heart. He knows what we are going through and he goes through it with us.

In St. Paul’s letter to Rome set for today he talks about hard times and he reminds us “suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope.   And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Yes the current situation has been difficult and challenging but we have seen the extent to which many have risen to the challenges and are doing so much through it all. We see it on the news shining out amidst the doom and gloom. We have experienced it ourselves with the help that has been given to us or the help we have given to others. I suspect the self-made of today’s world have experienced very little of this, neither helping others nor being helped.

So let’s all remember the truth of Psalm 100 Know that the Lord is God. It is He Who made us, and not we ourselves.And then let’s remember that since God made us he cares for us and says to you and to me

“I could never forget you! Look, I have inscribed your name on my palms.” And through the rest of this time of crisis let’s follow Jesus’ instruction “Freely you received, freely give.”