Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Looking Ahead to September 8, 2019

This Sunday marks the beginning of our Sunday School year.

Also this Sunday we will be celebrating the sacrament of Baptism.

The Scripture Reading this week is Psalm 139

The Sermon title is Wonderfully Made, Wonderfully Known

Early Thoughts: First a confession. Psalm 139 is one of my favourite pieces of Scripture.

This piece of ancient poetry reminds us of many things. That we are children of God. That God knows us deeply, "more deeply than we know ourselves" as I have sometimes said in prayer". That God is always with us, wherever we go. In fact God is with us even when we might prefer that God is NOT with us. God sees our hearts and continues to lead us in The Way.

Many of these things are all warm and fuzzy, At least on the surface. But what does it mean to acknowledge that we are fully and deeply known? Why does the poet talk about wanting to flee from God's presence? And what about those verses near the end about destroying the wicked? In the  end it is a much more complex poem than we might think if we picked and chose our favoured verses.

In our baptism liturgy we proclaim:
The sacrament of baptism proclaims and celebrates the grace of God.
By water and the Spirit, we are called, claimed, and commissioned:
we are named as God’s children,
claimed by Christ,
and united with the whole Christian community of every time and place.
Strengthened by the Holy Spirit,
we live out our commission;
to spread the love we have been given throughout the world.
Which, to my mind is why this Psalm is such a good match for a Baptism Sunday. Because we are indeed "called, claimed, and commissioned".

We are all children of the God who watched us grow in our mother's womb, who heard our borning cry, who is a part of every breath we take. God knows us deeply, flaws and all. God knows the parts of our lives we would rather not admit, and yet loves us and leads us in  The Way. God is there when life is terrible. God is there when the skies grow dark. God is even there when we think we would rather be alone.

We are indeed wonderfully and fearfully made, for we are made in God's image. WE are indeed fearfully and wonderfully known, because God knows us to our core. This is a blessing, it may also seem like a curse. It can lift us up or it can be a heavy weight on our soul. Sometimes we need the weight to help us be led in the way everlasting. We always need the blessing.

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