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The God Who Knows Us
Reflecting on the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost: Three Days after Sunday (Year A)
Psalter: Psalm 139:13-18
Old Testament: Genesis 35:16-29
Gospel: Matthew 12:15-21
Psalter: Psalm 75
Old Testament: Daniel 12:1-13
Gospel: Matthew 12:15-21
Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. 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.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end[b]—I am still with you (Psalm 139:13-18).
In his autobiography, St. Augustine tells the story of his conversion in August of 386 AD. He sits under a fig tree in the garden of his house at Milan and he asks God how much longer his struggle for faith will go on; and as he is praying he hears some children playing in a neighboring garden and they are singing as they play. They sing the words. “Take up and read, take up and read.”
Hearing those words, Augustine rushed inside. He opened his New Testament to a random page and read the verses “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of your lower nature” (Romans 13:14). Augustine closed the book and from that point on told his friends that he had become a Christian.
Augustine had come to realize that the Bible was a book that knew him because it was given by a God who knew him. Psalm 139 is about the God who knows us. This universe is not a fortunate accident and humanity is not a random haphazard occurrence on the Earth. For the psalmist, human existence is not meaningless. We are here because God intends for us to be here. There is a purpose. There is a design that helps us to make sense of our existence.
For Christians, the task in life is not to find our purpose, but rather to worship the God who gives purpose. We do not so much have to find our way, but to discover the way that God has already prepared for us in Jesus. We are made in God’s image in order to reflect that image in the world. For God to “ordain our days” is not to say that God has already scripted the moments of our lives, but rather that our days have significance because God has deemed our life to be of supreme importance.
Therefore, each day is lived with purpose and in hope.
PRAYER: Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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