In Psalm 139 the author marvels at all the things God knows. God knows our every step, thought, and word. God knows the heights of heaven and the depths of hell. God knew us before we even had a concrete form. God knows when we wake and when we sleep. God knows all our days.
At first, the psalmist seems overwhelmed by this knowledge, saying, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it." But the psalmist may be selling himself short. His knowledge may not be able to match God’s, but he has certainly attained some knowledge of his own in his experience of God. In these twelve verses, the psalmist uses the words you or your over a dozen times, suggesting that in his experience of being known by God, the psalmist has also come to know God. The same is true for us.
When God forms our inward parts, we come to know God our creator. When God hems us in, we come to know God who will not let us go. When God knows when we wake and when we sleep, we come to know God who never leaves us. When God discerns our thoughts and words, we come to know God whose hand is always guiding us. When God knows us as Psalm 139 describes, we come to know an infinite God who is concerned with finite us. How wonderful that knowledge is! How good it is to know God and to be known by God!
Dear God, we praise you for your fearful, wonderful knowledge of us. Help us to welcome your presence each day, so that every day is an opportunity to know and be known by you. Amen.
We read the stories of Samuel and the calling of Jesus’ disciples in John, and it’s easy to feel jealous. God spoke so directly into their lives that they should have had, it seems to us, full and unwavering confidence in their callings. Didn’t they have an unfair spiritual advantage over us? However, the psalmist reminds us that God knows and sees us individually just as well as God knew Samuel and Jesus knew his disciples. God has plans for us, even if they are revealed in less obvious ways. The reading from First Corinthians is quite different in its message. Perhaps we can at least recognize that even if we never hear God’s audible voice, through scripture God still provides guidance for our lives.
Read 1 Samuel 3:1-20. Can you think of a time when you failed to hear God calling you? What helps you to listen to God?
Read Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18. How does the knowledge that all humans are “fearfully and wonderfully made” inform the way you regard and care for others?
Read 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. Paul writes, “All things are lawful.” What does that mean to you? What are the responsibilities inherent in such freedom?
Read John 1:43-51. Who are the people who invited you to “come and see” Jesus? Is there someone around you to whom you could extend that invitation today?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.