a friend i had lost touch with died suddenly yesterday morning on 6/12/2018. she was 40 years old. devastating news. i’m praying for her baby boy, her husband, and her family… even though i hadn’t spoken to her in years i am still feeling the sense of shock and loss and wish we had made the effort to reconnect. i am filled with regret and sadness…
I am preaching this morning on the following Scripture passage:
Psalm 139:1-6 (NRSV)
The Inescapable God
To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
God knows us, what we do, our thoughts, in fact all our ways. God even knows what I am about to do! It is all together too wonderful. Why? To be not seen, unheard, not known, this leads to excruciating pain of alienation and isolation. But to be known, to be seen for who we are, to be heard, and to be known not only for what we have done, but for what we are about to do is to be truly recognized for who we are, as we are! As creation of God, what can we do?
As Samuel answers God when he was called in the middle of the night, I believe our answer should be “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10).
In order that light might shine out of darkness, for God who created us and wrote our lives in the book of life, we are persecuted but not forsaken: “8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
To each of us, Jesus calls us to observe the Sabbath. But this means that on the other days, we are working! Doesn’t make much sense to rest unless you were doing something in the first place. However, “The sabbath was made for human kind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28).
For me this week, to shine the light means to speak about the need for caring for the planet we live on. To bring awareness to all of us about the need to bring peace to the earth, to people living in it, but also to the environment.
My hope this morning is that you would take seriously the calling of God for you, in your life, in this time and place, to do what God calls you to do. May each of us answer God, when God calls us, “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10).
I’ve committed to being a VIRTUAL WALKER for PCUSA Walk for a Fossil Free World! With this commitment I will walk 45 minutes daily from Jun 1-Jun 15 and raise $250. I commit to speaking in my immediate community about my experience and the need for prayerful active engagement in climate change ecological issues that affect us. I am walking for my nieces and the next generation to have a place they can call home.
“Grant me, Lord, to know and understand which is first, to call on Thee or to praise Thee? and, again, to know Thee or to call on Thee? for who can call on Thee, not knowing Thee? for he that knoweth Thee not, may call on Thee as other than Thou art. Or, is it rather, that we call on Thee that we may know Thee? but how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? or how shall they believe without a preacher? and they that seek the Lord shall praise Him: for they that seek shall find Him, and they that find shall praise Him.” (St. Augustine, Confessions, Bk1, Ch1).
I played ice cream shop with my favorite toddler yesterday! Family by choice can be so comforting and loving even at times when you can’t visit your family by birth. I do miss my sister and my sister’s two daughters. But while I can’t visit my nieces, I get to visit my friends’ kids and oh yes, I get to visit my friends as well, and I just feel so loved! So glad God shows me love one way or another!!
p.s. after playing ice cream shop, my favorite toddler’s parents took us to a real ice cream shop!
As I understand more of what I’m studying, the more I feel the depths of which I have yet to learn.
No one wants to listen to someone expressing self-pity. I was told yesterday, stop this self-pity. That’s probably what promoted me to come to my blog site this morning. I have thoughts, feelings, and want to express them. No one wants to hear them, no one I can think of. But maybe there are some people who don’t mind hearing self-pity because they understand that it’s natural sometimes to feel self-pity and that it’s not necessarily a permanent disposition! I feel enormous expectations, stress, and fear of failure and self doubt. Sometimes I feel confident, but sometimes I feel bankrupt of any confidence.
I am a person of faith. And yes, my faith makes a difference in my life. But you know, when I’m drowning and feel overwhelmed with emotions that are threatening to consume my sanity, it’s hard to turn to God. But it is precisely in these moments that God, if ever, could help me. So many oxymorons in life. In the moments when I need God, are exactly moments when I feel I can’t turn to God or forget that I have a God who cares about me!
So I write for myself, on this blog, hoping someone would read these words, but also that as I write them that I would hear the sound of my voice crying in the wilderness, and that hearing my words, would remind me of who I am. Even when I feel utterly alone, yes, remember who I am. That I am a child of God!!!