Today's Scripture Reading
Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
139:1 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 afar.
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,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall 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 dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
In yesterday’s devotion, I shared how I learned from the Psalms that we can bring whatever is in our heart to worship with us, even in this Easter season. Today, Marci does just that. She brings her whole heart into worship. Marci shares her faith with us that even when she doesn’t feel the joy of the church season right now, the Risen Christ is still with her. In letting herself be honest before God in worship, Marci discovers that “church is not just for those who are celebrating.” May you find true worship this Easter season, too.
“The sun was shining and this morning was “Celebration Sunday” at our church [the Sunday after Easter]. My feelings of darkness, hopelessness, and despair didn't seem to be something I should be dealing with during this Easter Season of Light. I thought darkness was something “Lent-related” and should have gone on by when the official time period for the season of Lent was passed. This was a friend of mine's last Sunday at church, some one I had considered to be as a brother. Minister had seemed to pick up on people's not listening to his sermon. I could not tell him about these feelings I was dealing with and they were why I could not listen.
The seasons during our lives don't often go as planned when something else is telling us the way things should be. When you consider what I've had to deal with - husband losing job, us having no insurance, me not be able to work right due to shoulder problems - it's no wonder I'm dealing with all this “darkness and hopelessness.” Then I thought of the tornado victims, and them still going to church in spite of all their troubles and turmoil, and their uprootedness. Church is not just for those who are “celebrating.” It is also very much for those who feel broken, hopelessness, sadness and despair, and homelessness. God's light shines for all.
When the times are dark, we still need to go on through the Light. Hopefully, the light of Christ will help and be there for in the brokenness of our everyday lives. So, it is definitely ok to be there and listen to the minister's sermon in times of darkness.“
Holy, Trustworthy God,
Thank you for loving us so much that we can be honest with what we are feeling and we don’t have to worry that you will stop loving us. Sometimes we, like Marci, feel hopeless. Like the Psalmist, sometimes we feel as though you have gone away. Just like the Disciples after that first Easter morning, we feel afraid and uncertain sometimes. Even when we feel afraid, alone, hopeless, you have not left us. Your creative Spirit is still active and working in the world to bring your kingdom into fullness, a kingdom in which we will all experience shalom. In the meantime, we often struggle in the how and the not-yet. Your kingdom has come close, Jesus proclaimed it near and points to it. While we wait for its fullness, comfort us, help us feel your presence, let us know that peace that passes understanding deep in our hearts no matter what circumstances surround us. Help us be a fellowship which welcomes those who celebrate and those who cannot. Your light shines for all. Help us reflect your love.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Today's devotion was shared by
Active Member, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Asheville, North Carolina, USA.