March 13

“…you are there”

Scripture: Psalm 139: 7-12

7-12 Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit?  
      to be out of your sight?  
   If I climb to the sky, you’re there!  
      If I go underground, you’re there!  
   If I flew on morning’s wings  
      to the far western horizon,  
   You’d find me in a minute—  
      you’re already there waiting!  
   Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!  
      At night I’m immersed in the light!”  
   It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;  
      night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.   

Reader: This is the word of the Lord.   Response: Thanks be to God.


Some thoughts:
Why is it that we tend to avoid being confronted with the truth?  We somehow imagine that if we just hide or ignore it, we can skip facing reality. David writes with devastating clarity reminding us that we cannot escape God’s presence. Wherever we go, “God is there.” In fact, God is there before you get there! If you head to the backside of a galaxy “far, far away,” he’s waiting for you! Is there some pattern or habit in your life that you avoid in your conversations with God? After all, if you do all the talking in your prayer life, you don’t have to listen to what God has to say to you. David reminds us that no amount of finagling on our part makes things go away. Adam and Eve were the first people to try to hide from God and it didn’t work then and it hasn’t worked for anyone since! God’s question to them of “Where are you?” was not because he didn’t know where they were, he was asking them, “Where are you in relation to me? Where is your heart?” Not even the dark of night covers those hidden thoughts and habits. Is the quality of your nightlife the same as your daylife or are those two different worlds? God cares about every part of our lives and isn’t shocked by the way we live our lives. God truly knows you better than you know yourself which is why he is in the process of transforming you into the image of his Son. The season of Lent is a time to turn specifically toward our Creator and come clean. Is there something in your closet that needs God’s broom? Do you see God’s tender love and care for you expressed in this passage? Maybe write down what the Lord is saying to you. It will mean listening and not talking.

Suggested  Lenten Reading:
John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, a classic book about a Christian’s journey through life. Highly recommended. I reread this little book every three or four years in the old text. It’s a great way to learn what English words really mean. It is a spiritual masterpeace and has been translated into more than 200 languages. It is often the first book translated after the Bible in Christendom and has never been out of print since it was written in 1678! It is also the first novel written in English. It appears to have staying power!


Music: “The Lord Is My Shepherd”    John Rutter sung by Atlanta Master Chorale


A Hymn to God the Father

Wilt thou forgive that sin, where I begun,

Which is my sin, though it were done before?

Wilt thou forgive those sins through which I run,

And do run still, though still I do deplore?

When thou hast done, thou hast not done, for I have more.


Wilt thou forgive that sin, by which I won

Others to sin, and made my sin their door?

Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun

A year or two, but wallowed in a score?

When thou hast done, thou hast not done, for I have more.


I have sin of fear that when I’ve spun

My last thread, I shall perish on that shore;

Swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son shall shine

As he shines now, and heretofore.

And having done that, thou hast done, I fear no more.
―John Donne, 1572-1631


Prayer: Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy name; through Christ our Lord.
―from Book of Common Prayer