Monday, November 19, 2018

I Am Not Alone

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.
Ps 105:4 

I used to think I had a good sense of direction. Now I know I actually don't. It's never bothered me, though, because every wrong turn takes me someplace I've never been before. Even so, I have to admit that I'm one of those men who refuse to stop and ask for directions. So I should probably take today's passage from the psalms to heart, because what I read in English as Seek the Lord is, in Hebrew, דִּרְשׁוּ יְהוָה, which is more like, Inquire about Yahweh, or Ask after Yahweh. I'm even further removed from the true meaning when I read a modern English translation, because the Hebrew Bible's not telling me to do this all alone. It says, Hey y'all, ask after Yahweh! Archaic English would've rendered this as Seek ye...

So a verse I might want to think of as a great little personal mantra, is in reality a group activity. Seeking God, gaining strength from God, and recognizing God's presence are not being recommended to an individual meditating alone, but are being required of the whole church.

This is not to say that individuals can't seek God alone, or be strengthened by Christ, or feel the Spirit within. But this is not what we or our religion were designed for. I am not alone; I need other Christians. We are not alone; we need God. We need to ask for directions—both from God and from each other. But if I am alone, and if I get it wrong—if I turn aside from the path and find myself someplace I haven't been before—even then and there, God's presence can be found, as can the strength to return to The Way of my God and to my community of faith.
  
Thank you, O Holy One, that you have given me more than I need to guide me in life: Your word to study, your Spirit to guide me, and a community to share my journey with. I pray in the Name of the One who taught me to pray...