First steps on the journey of faith and community

September 17 — Watch over my coming and going

Image result for naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Kronstadt

Dome of the Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

More thoughts for meditation

We go out and we come in. We work hard. God watches over us as we work.

God keeps watch. In Psalm 127 God is pictured as a watchman patrolling the sleeping city. Here in Psalm 121 it’s more personal: God is watching over you, over your life, over your coming and going. As God watches us with his loving eye; he keeps us from harm and he gives us fulfilling work.

What was it like for God to watch over Jesus and his coming and going? It seems to me that Jesus is always resting in the knowledge of the imminent presence of his Father, even when he is worn out and tired and hungry. He seems pretty confident that he’ll be kept from harm, just like the Psalm says.

We can see Jesus’ attitude in the account of the woman at the well. In this story, we glimpse Jesus in the midst of his hard work. He is thirsty—we know this because he asks the woman for a drink of water. He is hungry—we know this, because his disciples urge him to eat. But he assumes he is cared for in the middle of difficult relationships and a weary body. The disciples push to slow down/stop working/take a break/eat a bite as if that is a solution. As if to say, “I thought we were having lunch but you are still engaged with this wayward woman!” That’s when he says he has deeper food to sustain him. He says his food is to do the work of God. Jesus is so certain that his life is watched over and that he is kept from harm that expressing love and telling the truth is food to him.

If we remember that our work and our coming and going is watched over by a loving God who will keep us from all harm, then our attitude towards work can be restored. God-given work can be like food to us, just as it was to Jesus.

Suggestions for action

Pray: Lord, I trust you to watch over my life.

Pause to consider the work God has for you to do today. Imagine the work offered to you the way a plate of food might be offered to you. Imagine yourself on your way to receive and to do that work, and imagine God watching over you as you move from one physical space to another, from one mental space to another.

Today is Hildegarde of Bingen Day! Appreciate her genius and courage at Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body.

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