One of my favorite experiences of the church has been writing songs for our Sunday meetings, and I’ve been honored to see how they’ve circulated in our community. Translating the poetry of Scripture and the church mothers and fathers into music is a meditative act for me, and I hope that you can get a sense of that this week. — Andrew Yang
Today’s Bible reading
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
More thoughts for meditation
Lord, you search me and you know me,
You know when I rest and I rise,
All my thoughts to you are open
You see through my disguise
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts, they are restless until (they rest in you)
This song based on Psalm 139 is drawn from a responsive litany that pairs Psalm 139 with a quote from Book I of St. Augustine’s Confessions.
St. Augustine writes, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” The quote pairs so well with the Psalm, which is about the very same idea — that God has made us with intention, and God holds us to Godself with that same intention.
As an Asian American and a child of immigrants, I’ve often felt out of place and a lack of belonging, whether it’s because of food, or language, or the shape of my eyes, or just broadly the fact that I often feel transplanted to wherever I am. I’m never assumed to belong. For me, the idea that I was knit together, that I am held close, that I am known completely, isn’t an idea that comes intuitively. Instead I always feel the restless need to explain myself.
Suggestions for action
The idea that God has made us for Godself has a special resonance for me. I think it should hold a special resonance to anyone who feels out of place, but especially BIPOC, LGTBQIA+, and disabled folks, where it often feels impossible to rest because the powers-that-be are always making us justify our existence to them. In the face of that, it’s a matter of survival to remind ourselves that God knit us together with purpose and delight from the beginning, that God is with us whether we’re close or far, that God sees us even shrouded in darkness. I’ve found that it’s when rest feels most impossible that it’s most important to repeat to myself the truth that’s found in Psalm 139, that Augustine used to describe God’s pull on his life.
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts, they are restless until they rest in you.