January 28, 2024
Rev. Dr. Jan Remer-Osborn
"God Knows You - Inside and Out"
from Psalm 139
There's something about someone who knows you really well. It is a deep connection which buoys you up because you often don’t need words for them to understand you.
I am at the beginning of getting to know you, my congregation. I cannot just look you in the eye and know you. I need you to tell me. What you need. Who God is in your life. Your most pressing problems. How I can help. I have been pastoring for 7 years and helping people for 35 years. God has called me to do this and I want you to know that I am here for you.
Today’s sermon presents a challenge. The joy of being known and the fear of being known too well by our omnipotent and all-seeing God. While the prescribed verses suggest I dispense hugs and warm fuzzy feelings from the pulpit, they skip over and ignore the discomfort and fear the Psalmist expresses in the central part of the chapter.
Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:7)
For me, this text, taken in its entirety. reflects the Psalmist’s ambivalence towards God, giving us permission to do the same. Our relationship with God fluctuates with joy, despair, trust, fear, praise, and anger. It is not static. It is a human relationship filled with vulnerability and volatility.
We don’t need to run. We don’t need to hide. Thankfully, God sees us not as completely vulnerable, but cloaked in the love, protection, and salvation by Jesus.