Connected to God
Preparing for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Three Days before Sunday (Year C)
Psalter: Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
Old Testament: Jeremiah 15:10-21
Epistle: Philippians 2:25-30
Psalter: Psalm 1
Old Testament: Genesis 39:1-23
Epistle: Philippians 2:25-30
Creator God, you form us on the wheel of life as a potter molds the clay. Shape us into holy vessels, bearing the mark of your wise crafting, that we may remain strong and useful through years of faithful and obedient service in Christ's name. Amen.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well (Psalm 139:13-14).
by Joan Stott
When I try to express the ways that the Great-God-who-resides-within-me influences my life - the words are always inadequate. “..that rich inner spark of God’s holiness within me...” is not sufficient; “...bestowing on me that deep goodness that is God...” that is also is not definitive enough. Always, I am a “work still in progress...” as God continues the work of creation within me, opening up unknown or neglected old gifts that are even now being reborn. Above all, I also need to remember that I was reverently created in love, for Love’s own sake, and that the Great-God-who-resides-within-me still loves me.
The Psalmist has several sub-themes within this one Psalm, and “knowing” and “being known” are very significant to him. “.....God has examined my heart and knows everything....... God knows my movements, my thoughts ..... and my speech...” God’s hand was placed in blessing on his head, and it was too much for him to deal with – it “......is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know!” “....You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. ...Your workmanship is marvellous - and how well I know it.” All-knowing God, every human being can have this same experience and sense of being “known” by God, if they choose to become vulnerable before God, and acknowledge their dependency upon God, as their Lover, Maker and Sustainer— but in this age of “doing-our-own-thing”, many rich experiences are lost to them.
The imagery of the umbilical cord before it is cut between the mother and her child helps me to understand a little how connected I am to God, and how connected God is to me, and the intimacy of both those two-way relationship are extraordinarily special. I was very blessed to be invited into the labour wards after both of my two grandsons were born, and I was able to see the life still pulsing through that cord between my daughter and her babies. Through some mysterious power within that Divine cord of love and acceptance, I am still connected to God, as God is to me!
© 2013 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.
PRAYER: Source of life and blessing, of garden, orchard, field, root us in obedience to you and nourish us by your ever-flowing Spirit, that, perceiving only the good we might do, our lives may be fruitful, our labor productive, and our service useful, in communion with Jesus, our brother. Amen.
Check out more from “The Timeless Psalms,” here.