Sunday’s Scripture ~ Psalm 139:1-6
I think name tags have super powers. Yes, they reveal the names of the people who wear them – as long as every person is wearing their corresponding name tag – but they also have the power to make people forget their names.
And by people…I mean me.
Inevitably when I am wearing a name tag on a lanyard around my neck and I meet someone I do not know, I look down at my name tag to confirm what my name is before I say “Hi, I’m Sarah.” Uhhhh…how is it that I have forgotten my name?! Obviously, name tags have super powers.
After meeting someone new and exchanging salutations the conversation shortly turns in the direction of “Tell me about yourself.” This is a who question…yet many of us – myself included – interpret this question as a do question. “Tell me about yourself” = “Tell me what you do.” And so we respond with a litany of tasks we complete or roles we fulfill. At times throughout our litanies we will reveal who we are…but we need to be sure we do not collapse who we are into what we do.
Our Scripture text for this week affirms that God knows every bit of us – our comings and our goings, our thoughts and our feelings, our joys and our sorrows, our strengths and our growing edges, our trials and our triumphs. God knows our faithfulness and our waywardness. God even knows my utter disdain for water chestnuts. God knows what we do and God knows that what we do has an impact on who we are…but what we do is not in totality who we are.
Who are we? First and foremost we are God’s children. We are beloved. We are precious. We are known individually. We are treasures.
At times, though, we forget who we are because of what we do. When we sin we cloud, mask, hide, and possibly even forget who we truly are. God’s truth that we are God’s children, beloved, precious, known individually, and treasures becomes obscured. We forget, but God does not forget. Our God is so faithful. Our God continues to provide witnesses in our lives to remind us who we are by recalling for us God’s faithfulness through the ages.
Scripture tells these stories. We tell these stories. Brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors, and fellow pew sitters – we tell these stories.
Our God is faithful. Our God knows who we are – blemished by sin and redeemed by grace. We are not what we do. We are who God created us and calls us to be.
Recently I was introduced to the song “Never Once” by Matt Redman. This song sings to God’s faithfulness. “Never once did we ever walk alone. Never once did God leave us on our own. You are faithful, God. You are faithful.”
I am assured that when we forget who we are because of what we have done, that God is quickly drawing us back to God’s side, whispering into our hearts and confirming in our minds, “I know who you are. You are mine. And I am with you.”
Prayer: Lord, “refresh thy people on their toilsome way; lead us from night to never-ending day; fill all our lives with love and grace divine, and glory, laud, and praise be ever thine.”* Amen.
*”God of the Ages,” The United Methodist Hymnal, 698.