It was Mother’s Day Sunday. Which meant that we knew folks would be missing (because people mentioned it during homework assignment time the Sunday before! And because thanks be to God there was a baptism which a few folks were attending at another church) –but thanks be to God — 10 of us gathered round the table seeking to hear God together! We opened in prayer. As it was a bit of a non-typical Sunday flow for our Adult Study we reviewed the Scripture from last week (1 John 5:1-5) and reminded ourselves of the homework: to think of the victories that God has already helped you win in life & also to think about the struggles you are waiting for God (or even asking if God can & will) to make you victorious in/over. That is the homework we will be checking in with this coming Sunday!
But then we turned to Scripture (turns out no one was bursting at the seams to give an early homework check in!). And we considered Psalm 139 in its entirety. Reading through it twice with four volunteers reading each time. I had been led to the Psalm based especially on verses 13-15
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. (English Standard Version)
Finding it striking to consider such a Psalm on Mother’s Day. And when mentioned, this opened a conversation centering on verse 14: what does it mean that “I” am fearfully & wonderfully made? There was commentary on how perhaps it is based on knowing what the world is like….any who bring forth life do so “fearfully.” But there was a question too about the word, “fearfully” as applied to us. One had a translation which made the issue go away — ascribing the fearfully & wonderfully more to God and less to us — but that was a lone translation.
However — the initial observance of this Psalm were actually two contrasting feelings — one of comfort knowing there is no where we can go away from God — and one of frustration that there is no where we can go away from God. I found that contrast to be necessary, important, powerful. How many of us if we are honest have felt both of these truths? The frustration that we would like a moment on our own, without God bothering us; the gratitude we have in the midst of overwhelming life chaos or deep darkness that we are not alone, God is there? To hold both of those feelings, observations, revelations is vast — possibly so vast that we actually can’t hold it on our own (part of why we gather together because together as a body of believers, as the body of Christ, we can hold & know more of who God is — the vastness of who the I AM is).
And as always, the time ran out, the conversation was halted to remind of homework (victories in God already, struggles looking for the victory over) and to pray.
In a few days we’ll gather again — around the table to continue to conversation and to listen to God together. I’m looking forward to all of it. See you soon.
In Christ – the RISEN Saviour ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater