Psalm 139: 1-12
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.
7 Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Our world can be a wicked and scary place, every day we are confronted with fresh tragedies and crimes…from those that make world-wide headlines, to those that are more personal, as we watch someone we love get hurt, or hurt themselves; falling prey to temptations that can feed on the weaknesses we all carry with us.
Any good parent wants to protect their children from dangers of this world, but we know that it is not good, nor really possible to isolate our children from the world…and even if we tried (short of moving to a deserted island with no connectivity) it would not work any way; despite our best efforts and intentions they will be exposed to risks and temptations that will worry and may even horrify us!
For the most part, we accept this, and live with it…doing the best we can, knowing that at least our love will always be with our children, even if we cannot be…and hopefully they will remember the good things we taught them, and not follow us in our mistakes.
This is our hope as we send our children out into the world of school, college, work, and even our own neighborhoods: As no matter where they go or what they do our love is something that our children can never lose; they will never stop being our children!
Oh, they can do things to annoy us, cause us frustration and fear, and they can even turn away from us and break our hears, but our love is too strong…as I believe it endures even through anger and worry, even if we have to make hard choices like turning away from a child we can no longer manage or a relationship that has grown too co-dependent for any one’s good!
This is our Good News today and every day, the good news of today’s reading from Psalm 139; that we are all well loved children of God…and like our children, there is no where we can go, and nothing we can do that will cause us to lose the love of God!
However, there are times when it may feel like that light has gone out, when we find ourselves walking in darkness, overwhelmed by stress, worry and resentment (i.e. fear)…as if God is not listening, or not doing anything to help us, where hope seems far away…which is where we want to be: far away!!
Yet, there really is no such thing as a complete absence of light…otherwise we would not know the darkness at all, and even in the midst of the deepest night, the flame of a single candle can make all the difference! And in the midst of our troubles the light of God’s love is there with with, piercing through the darkness to give us the hope and the support we need to keep the faith, to protect us from despair and give us the strength to keep moving forward!
This love comes to us through the promise of God’s eternal and unconditional love for us:
Christ! It also comes to us through the Holy Spirit, working through all those around us, those who show us compassion and love by sharing the light of their faith (no matter what faith that is) with us!
This light reaches into the depths of our worries, and speaks to us even when we are mad at God for ‘not doing enough’, and reminds us that we are God’s children…and this will never change. Just as our children will always be our children, always be loved and cared for, and always a part of our hearts we too are always a part of God’s heart, and will never be hidden away from His love…and this is very good news indeed…especially in the midst of this wicked world!
Let us Pray:
God, thank you that there is no place for us to hide from your love! Please help us to see that your light is with us always, especially when the wickedness of this world can leave us in fear for our children…fear that can make all seem dark! Help us to see that the light of your love is always shining for us and our children, through the gift of Christ, and through the faith we all share together, faith that can pierce the darkness with the light of hope and the good news of your love for all of your children!