May 28, 2018
By Mary Louise Howson.
Rev. Mary Louise Howson is a retired UCC pastor.
Scripture: Psalm 139
O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my thoughts from far away . . . and lay your hands upon me. For it was you . . . who knit me together in my mother’s womb. . . . Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. . . . If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.
My grandmother taught me this psalm when I was so young that I cannot remember not knowing it. My grandfather died when my mother was 9. In 1922 she was left to raise my mother on her own. And this text was the scripture that had enabled her to go on. Its intimacy is probably without equal in any other text in the Bible. Imagine God beholding your unformed substance. The intimacy is exquisite.
It is difficult to be a Christian these days and not sometimes feel as if we are lost in “the uttermost parts of the sea.” We too often feel as if the waves of hatred and the winds of chaos will overwhelm us and carry us under. We need to know and to feel that we are held fast in God’s sacred love. We need to know that, “though we walk in the midst of trouble, God’s right had will deliver us” – especially when we have lost touch with our own hope. For even then, especially then, God’s shall held us fast. We cannot undo this sacred love.
Ever-loving God, you embrace us in your care, knowing us beyond our own understanding. May we offer that same steadfast, sacred love to our neighbors
New Prayer Requests:
We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Drew Page at email@example.com.
Prayers of Intercession:
- for those grieving or suffering after a shooting in a restaurant in Oklahoma City left 4 wounded and the shooter dead on Thursday.
- for those suffering in Ontario after a bombing at a restaurant left 15 wounded on Thursday.
- for suffering after school shooting in Indiana left 2 wounded on Friday.
- for those in Hawaii where the Kilauea volcano continues to erupt, displacing thousands.
- for the people of Puerto Rico where more than 14,000 people still have no power eight months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- We give thanks to those armed service members who lost their lives protecting the values of our nation.
Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:
Shalom United Church of Christ
United Church On the Green UCC
First Congregational Church in New London, UCC
First Congregational, UCC
New Preston Congregational Church, UCC
This Week in History:
May 31, 1868 (150 years ago): "Decoration Day" is observed for the first time honoring those who died during the Civil War. The observance eventually became Memorial Day, honoring all who died in service to the country and was official made a national holiday in 1971.
Starting With Scripture:
May 28, 2018
Mary Louise Howson.