Scripture: Psalm 139
Key verses: (1-6)
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.
Reflection: One stop on my last road trip was the National Memorial for Peace and Justice which honors more than 4,400 African American men, women, and children who were hanged, burned alive, shot, drowned, and beaten to death by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. This national lynching memorial is a sacred space for truth-telling and reflection about racial terror in America and its legacy. As my family walked slowly through the memorial and heard stories of bank-funded public lynchings or lynchings of children the same age as my children because they looked at someone’s cow I became convinced that for each of these I would hear and remember the worlds of the Psalmist who writes of God:
For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am reverently and wonderfully made.
Each of those individuals were knit together by God in their mother’s womb, wonderfully made. This belongingness of human bodies to God should be the basis for an ethic of how we treat each other and live together.
It should instruct us in all of our interactions. It should guide us as we choose our core values and evaluate them daily. Are we being kind to all of God’s creations? Do we celebrate the beauty and wonder of each person God created?
Why are we not able to love, respect and be kind to others? Is it because we are not able to do the same for ourselves? Are we able to believe this good news is for each of us?
This passage is a powerful testimony of God’s love for us. For you. For me. God knows when we get up in the morning, the routine of our days or lack of routine, God knows our thoughts, motivations and our actions. It is hard for us to wrap our minds around how much interest God takes in our lives. God knows our hidden addictions whether that is our daily peanut butter cookie, Tylenol pm or revenge pranks and God still loves us. In our brokenness and with all of our flaws, we are completely known and completely loved.
God already knows every horrible thing we’ve ever done or will do and yet still he loves us more than we will ever understand. God loved us before we knew our Creator and had a plan for us before we realized we needed God. Hear the good news, each and every one of you is reverently and wonderfully made by God. Let us live is that love.
Prayer: God, guide us in your love. Give us a loud voice when we see injustice. May we be just as kind. To others and to ourselves. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].