While I was visiting family in CA I watched my future son-in-law Kevin plant flowers and veggies in some dark rich soil. He’s in the process of creating a porch garden for their new apartment in the middle of the sprawling L.A. metropolis built on a desert. Engaged in this task, Kevin was totally “in the moment” and seemed happy as a California clam. That’s how it is for some of us when we are up to the elbows in soil. Digging in and getting dirty while imagining the seedlings all grown up, is spiritual! We’ve traveled a lot this summer and we have gotten the chance to see some of the most beautiful countryside here in the US and in Europe, for which we are so grateful. God’s land is truly inspiring.
In our reading for today, Psalm 139 is aglow while describing God’s omnipresence. “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your spirit?” the psalmist asks in v.7 Well, nowhere actually, because God’s hand made it all and gives it to us, freely. So, no matter where you go, there you are and there is God. “There is no escape from the presence of God” (which is pretty scary when you stop to think about it.) The Psalter is a collection of prayers composed throughout Israel’s history and is named psalms in Greek, which means song. “Despite the traditional association with King David, it is now generally agreed the psalms were composed over many centuries to serve the needs of the worshipping community in Jerusalem. The foundational research in this was done by German scholar Hermann Gunkel early in the 20th C.” In Psalm 139, we are instructed that we can’t remove the creative spirit from anything God has made, though it seems it’s been tried in the last couple of centuries.