sexta-feira, 29 de abril de 2016


I will sing for the one I love
a song about his vineyard:
My loved one had a vineyard
on a fertile hillside.
He dug it up and cleared it of stones
and planted it with the choicest vines.
He built a watchtower in it
and cut out a winepress as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes,
but it yielded only bad fruit.
Isaiah 5:1-2 - NIV

In light of the biological sciences this song is problematic. A variety of sweet grapes with conditions and appropriate treatment only produces sweet grapes. A variety of sour grapes, even with all the greatest of care necessarily produces sour grapes. Scientifically, the problem was not in the plant itself or of the soil, but in the selection of the variety of seeds. The owner erred in choosing and there would be no means of correcting the error simply by way of taking good care of the crop! The owner did not admit a wrong choice, and threw the blame on the plants. The right solution would be to replace the plants with a desired variety, not exercise revenge by destroying the field. The fault was of the owner for not having chosen the right variety of grapes. He chose the variety whose very nature was to produce sour grapes.

Even with the issue of our knowledge of biology this song brings a great lesson for life: 1) We are both planted and planters, 2) It’s important what we plant.

Nobody is an island, isolated from everything and everyone. Without our consent, were inserted into a context. We did not choose our gender, our sexual orientation, our nationality our social class, or our parents, siblings and relatives. We are born with a genetic load of physical and psychological traits which predetermine many of our physiological and emotional limitations.

We are the fruit of the past! But even with our genetic makeup and our social heritage we are not passive and inert objects. We are interactive. We can determine much of our direction and destination. Our interaction makes a difference. We have the power to strengthen the positive and negative trends to resist those conditions and to change them. We are planted, but also we are planters. We can choose what we plant and how we take care of it.

We are responsible for the way we manage our heritage. We can blindly accept it and carry it on without examining it or we can check it out to see if any adjustments need to be made. The beauty of botany is that grafts can be made. Undesirable branches can be pruned and desirable ones grafted on in their place.

Culture naturally comes with many built-in customs and taboos which have deep roots in the past, but are no longer relevant and often harmful. Times change, but practices resist change. What we were brought up to believe is not necessarily still true. Our social images need constant revision. Words and labels change meanings. For example “gay” doesn´t mean the same thing as when I was a kid. This is also true of words and labels like: liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, socialist, communist and progressive, only to mention a few. In continuing to use them with their old meanings we are really preventing ourselves from changing with the times and we become outdated.

I try to evaluate what should be the Christian stance in the face of our modern global situation in the light of the Kingdom as it is described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. That is radical, because it is exactly the opposite of what our social values are today:

·       War makers exterminate peacemakers.
·       Power ignores ethics.
·       The wealthy exploit the poor.
·       Finger pointing overshadows humility.
·       Immigrants and minorities are persecuted.
·       The ill and the starving are ignored.
·       Profits are more important than people.
·       Deceit and secrecy take precedence over truth and openness.
·       Personal advantage is above collective well-being.

Peacemaking, solidarity, forgiveness, humility, hospitality, self-giving and generosity are so radical that few practice them. Yet, that is what the Kingdom is all about. It is easier to go with the rules of the game and hope that Jesus will return and end it all. We cannot let the vineyard go and hope for the best. What we do is important, not only for ourselves, but for all others as well.


I will sing for the one I love
    a song about his vineyard:
My loved one had a vineyard
    on a fertile hillside.
He dug it up and cleared it of stones
    and planted it with the choicest vines.
He built a watchtower in it
    and cut out a winepress as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes,
    but it yielded only bad fruit.
“Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah,
    judge between me and my vineyard.
What more could have been done for my vineyard
    than I have done for it?
When I looked for good grapes,
    why did it yield only bad?
Now I will tell you
    what I am going to do to my vineyard:
I will take away its hedge,
    and it will be destroyed;
I will break down its wall,
    and it will be trampled.
I will make it a wasteland,
    neither pruned nor cultivated,
    and briers and thorns will grow there.
I will command the clouds
    not to rain on it.”
The vineyard of the Lord Almighty
    is the nation of Israel,
and the people of Judah
    are the vines he delighted in.
And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed;
    for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.

domingo, 24 de abril de 2016


Louvem o Senhor, todos os seus anjos,
todos os seus exércitos celestiais!
Sol e lua, louvem o Senhor!
Todas as estrelas brilhantes,
louvem a Deus!

Louve o Senhor,
tudo o que existe na terra:
monstros do mar
e todas as profundezas do oceano!
Salmo 148.2, 3, 7 – NTLH

Os únicos dois evangelistas que narraram algo a respeito do nascimento de Jesus o colocaram em escala cósmica. Mateus incluiu uma estrela do céu e magos do Oriente distante: Lucas; pastores, rebanhos, um anjo e um coral de seres celestiais. O cosmos estava diante do seu nascimento.

Jesus tinha tudo para ter um nascimento bem provinciano, não celebrado por ninguém além de familiares e amigos próximos. José e Maria eram de uma aldeia insignificante, de uma província atrasada e desprezada pelo resto do país que, por sua vez, pouco pesava dentro do Império Romano. O evento (nascimento) ocorreu longe de casa, numa cidade distante onde havia poucos conhecidos. Jesus seria mais um “Zé Ninguém”, perdido na multidão.

Para Deus, “Zé Ninguém” não existe. Todos são criados e amados por Deus e, por isso, têm grande valor. Jesus é o supremo exemplo desta verdade. Pensando bem, Deus tem o mesmo amor por nós. Conforme o Novo Testamento, foi por nossa causa que Jesus foi enviado. Nós, também, estamos dentro do plano cósmico de Deus.

O Salmo 148 inclui todo o cosmos como recipiente do amor divino a apto a expressar louvor e gratidão pela graça da existência. A existência é a graça que todos recebem de Deus, sem distinção.

É difícil admitir esta verdade em nosso íntimo. Temos dificuldade em aceitar um Jesus cósmico, um Jesus que tem ovelhas que não são do nosso aprisco e que ilumina todos que vêm ao mundo. Nossa tendência é desprezar outras formas de espiritualidade e culturas. Condenamos e demonizamos outras religiões e manifestações de fé que são diferentes das nossas. Achamos que somente nós somos os amados e aceitos por Deus. Queremos um Jesus provinciano. Idolatramos as nossas formas religiosas e doutrinas e projetamos a nossa própria idolatria e a nossa incredulidade nos outros.

Jesus foi claro em dizer que não devemos julgar os outros e quando julgarmos o nosso julgamento se volta contra nós mesmos. Mesmo assim, queremos ser os juizes de quem é e de quem não é de Deus. Deus faz um círculo e coloca todos dentro. Nós fazemos o círculo e ficamos dentro, sozinhos. O nosso “nós” é um círculo de exclusão, não de inclusão.

O nascimento de Jesus é uma demonstração que toda a criação é recipiente do amor divino. Por isso, o nosso cântico deve ser um cântico cósmico.


Todos os que estão nos céus,
louvem o Senhor Deus nas alturas!
Louvem o Senhor, todos os seus anjos,
todos os seus exércitos celestiais!
Sol e lua, louvem o Senhor!
Todas as estrelas brilhantes,
    louvem a Deus!
Que os mais altos céus o louvem
e também as águas
    que estão acima do céu!
Que todos eles louvem o Senhor,
pois ele deu uma ordem,
    e eles foram criados!
Ele mandou, e foram firmados
    para sempre nos seus lugares;
eles não podem desobedecer.
Louve o Senhor, tudo o que existe
    na terra:
monstros do mar
    e todas as profundezas do oceano!
Louvem o Senhor, relâmpagos
    e chuva de pedra, neve e nuvens,
e ventos fortes, que obedecem
    à sua ordem!
Louvem o Senhor, colinas e montanhas,
florestas e árvores que dão frutas!
Louvem o Senhor, todos os animais,
    mansos e selvagens!
Louvem o Senhor, passarinhos
    e animais que se arrastam pelo chão!
Louvem o Senhor,
reis e todos os povos,
governantes e todas as outras autoridades!
Louvem o Senhor, moços e moças,
velhos e crianças!
Que todos louvem a Deus, o Senhor,
porque ele é superior
    a todos os outros deuses!
A sua glória está acima da terra e do céu.
Ele fez com que a sua nação ficasse
    cada vez mais forte,
e por isso o louvam
    todos os seus servos fiéis,
o povo de Israel, a quem ele tanto ama.

sexta-feira, 22 de abril de 2016


(Jesus) The true light that gives light to everyone coming into the world.
John 1:9

Anyone who loves is a child of God
I John 4:7

The only two evangelists who narrated anything about the birth of Jesus set him on a cosmic scale. Matthew included a star from the sky and Magi from the Far East. Luke included shepherds, flocks, an angel and a choir of heavenly beings. The cosmos was present at his birth.

Jesus had everything to have a provincial birth, not noted by anyone other than family and close friends. Joseph and Mary were from an insignificant village of a backwater province which was looked down on by the rest of the country which, in turn, was only a minor occupied area within the vast Roman Empire. The event (birth) occurred away from home, in a distant city where his parents were little known. Jesus would be just one more "John Doe" lost in the crowd.

According to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus had significance far beyond the geographic limits of his family origin. In their Gospels they promoted a faith that was inclusive, not exclusive like the tendency of many religions, especially the monotheistic ones. In the Gospels, Jesus was always offending the conservatives by overstepping the limits they set. He was frequently in the wrong place with the wrong people. He didn’t fit into the scheme of the dominating powers, and they got rid of him, or at least thought they did. But his spirit lives on in time and in space through those who dream with him follow his lead of a life of compassion without regard to personal gain. This shows Jesus to be cosmic, transcending time, cultures and credos.

It took me many years to see this cosmic dimension of Jesus. The first years of my journey in the Christian faith was a series of a closing of windows and doors creating a shrinking world rather than discovering an expanding universe. I learned about “correct” doctrines and beliefs, came to know who were the “true” people of God and much of what God loved and what God hated. My literalism made me like the painter who was painting himself into a corner. My world was shrinking and I had less and less room in which to maneuver.

I slowly came to realize that my conservatism was really a denial of truth. Truth is infinitely larger than any system that anyone can devise. Fortunately I was able to break the chains of prejudice that imprisoned me and to free myself to be able to move on into new and wonderful worlds. I feel like a tree that is putting down its roots, but is able to shed old leaves and grow new ones as needed. The roots are my basic character and the leaves are the way I interpret what I perceive. I am no longer stuck with a rigid set of theories and doctrines. I can bend with the wind and grow stronger as I do so.

The historic Jesus is impossible to know. But there are certain aspects that have filtered through time which seem to transcend cultures and creeds, namely the identification of Jesus with compassion and solidarity. These are basic human needs and find resonance in almost all cultural situations. Having to do with deep human needs and not with creeds make Jesus cosmic. This is not a Jesus that is identified with some creed, but a Jesus that is accessible to anyone.

Jesus is not an outside Superman who drops in from the heavens as a savior, but one who walks with us as a brother and shares the good and the bad things of life with us.

domingo, 17 de abril de 2016


Senhor, faze com que prosperemos
de novo,
assim como a chuva enche de novo
o leito seco dos rios.
Que aqueles que semeiam chorando
façam a colheita com alegria!
Aqueles que saíram chorando,
levando a semente para semear,
voltarão cantando, cheios de alegria,
trazendo nos braços os feixes
da colheita.
Salmo 126.4-6 - NTLH

Na volta dos exilados para sua terra natal, Jerusalém, era um sonho realizado. A saída do cativeiro era um novo nascimento, ocasião de celebrar com risos e cânticos, uma grande conquista!

Mas, Jerusalém não era a mesma que deixaram!… Tudo havia mudado. Encontraram a devastação e um mundo para ser reconstruído. O cântico se transformou em súplica. Pediram a bênção de Deus para a nova semeadura, sabendo que seria com sacrifício e sofrimento. Sabiam que a sua esperança estava nas “chuvas” para encher o “leito seco dos rios”.

Somos todos vencedores. A nossa concepção foi uma grande conquista. Somos o resultado da união de um óvulo e um espermatozoide. A disputa da concepção é feroz. Somente um entre centenas (ou milhares) de óvulos e um entre bilhões de espermatozoides conseguem se unir para formar um novo ser. Depois do nascimento, grandes conquistas: ficar em pé, andar e correr, aprender uma língua, fazer amizades, curtir prazeres, conhecer o mundo e estabelecer uma identidade. Com as dádivas da vida e mais os nossos próprios esforços conseguimos chegar onde estamos hoje. Temos muito a agradecer e celebrar.

Mas, hoje estamos, também, diante de um mundo diferente, o da nossa infância não existe mais. Estamos vendo devastação e desmoronamento. Os valores e problemas são outros. As injustiças estão gerando radicalismo político e religioso. A intolerância e a violência estão presentes em todo o mundo. Hindus e sikhs assassinam muçulmanos. Muçulmanos matam cristãos. Cristãos exterminam muçulmanos. Protestantes rejeitam católicos. A Palestina é paralisada com hostilidades religiosas. Terrorismo está sendo combatido com terrorismo. A corrida mundial é para adquirir o maior poder da destruição.

Recentemente vi num boletim de igreja a manifestação deste espírito de violência, descrevendo Jesus como “o grande Guerreiro” que vem para “penetrar os corações com a espada da Palavra” e “destruir os ímpios”. Fiquei triste com a insensibilidade de quem o escreveu e de quem publicou o artigo.

Precisamos de semeadores de paz. No mundo de hoje, é muito difícil ser semeador de paz. Muitas vezes até as igrejas cultivam o espírito de intolerância contra determinados grupos. O fundamentalismo está dividindo as religiões monoteístas tradicionais jogando irmão contra irmão. A semeadura de paz envolve sofrimento e lagrimas. Jesus, ao viver a paz, chorou por Jerusalém. Nunca pegou em armas e disse: “quem usa uma espada será morto por uma espada.” (Mt.26.52). Preferiu ir à cruz pela vivência da paz.

Cremos que o Deus, que nos trouxe até aqui, pode nos levar mais adiante. Podemos ver a sua mão agindo nos eventos no passado. Apesar do tamanho do desafio no presente, o espírito da esperança nos ajuda a confiar que o futuro, também está nas suas mãos.

O salmista fala da confiança que Deus tem o poder de “encher de novo o leito seco dos rios” e que podemos “voltar cantando”, “trazendo nos braços os feixes da colheita”. A fé cristã deve representar gratidão, desafio e esperança.


Quando o Senhor Deus
    nos trouxe de volta para Jerusalém,
parecia que estávamos sonhando.
Como rimos e cantamos de alegria!
Então as outras nações disseram:
“O Senhor fez grandes coisas
    por eles!”
De fato, o Senhor fez grandes coisas
    por nós,
e por isso estamos alegres.
Ó Senhor, faze com que prosperemos
    de novo,
assim como a chuva enche de novo
    o leito seco dos rios.
Que aqueles que semeiam chorando
façam a colheita com alegria!
Aqueles que saíram chorando,
    levando a semente para semear,
voltarão cantando, cheios de alegria,
trazendo nos braços os feixes
    da colheita


sexta-feira, 15 de abril de 2016


Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
Psalm 126:4-6 – NIV

The return of the exiles to their homeland was a like dream that came true. The end of their captivity was like a new birth. It was a great conquest and an occasion to celebrate with laughter and songs.

But the reality they encountered was the opposite of their dream. There was not much left of their homeland. Everything had changed. They found devastation and a world to be rebuilt. The song turned into supplication. They asked God's blessing for the new seeding, knowing it would involve sacrifice and suffering. Their hope was that their efforts would be like the rains that would fill dry beds of rivers.

We all start out life as winners. Our very conception was a great achievement. It was the result of the union of an ovum and a sperm. The competition was fierce. The ovum was only one of hundreds (or thousands) of ova produced by the mother and the sperm was one among billions produced by the father. The union of that sperm with that ovum which produced each of us was a great victory for both the ovum and the sperm. At our birth many challenges lay before us – standing, walking, running, learning a language, making friends, enjoying pleasures, experiencing the world and establishing an identity. With the gifts of life plus our own efforts we got where we are today. We have much to be thankful for and to celebrate.

But today we face a world slipping into chaos, dominated by a military-industrial complex that is gaining power by promoting greed, hostility and violence with the use of ignorance, politics and religion to divide and conquer. The great majority of the world population is being victimized in benefit of an ever shrinking but privileged few. Terrorism, both secular and ideological, is becoming the norm. Patriotic and religious violence is glorified. Hindus and Sikhs murder Muslims. Muslims kill Christians. Christians exterminate Muslims. Protestants reject Catholics etc. The “Unholy” land of Palestine is paralyzed with religious hostilities and is far from being a hope for the world, contrary to Zionist propaganda. Climatic change is being denied for the reason that facing up to it will reduce the profits of those who are devastating the environment.

Christianity makes great claims as to who Jesus is, but conveniently ignores what Jesus did and taught. Putting into practice Jesus’ lifestyle and teachings would make Christianity a radical departure from our present set of values. It would take us in the direction of a world of peace and justice. But the Christian majority is strangely silent before what is happening in the world and has adapted the “shoot back” philosophy of paganism. I recently saw a church bulletin manifestation of this spirit of violence, describing Jesus as "the great warrior" coming to "penetrate the hearts with the sword of the Word" and "destroy the wicked." I was saddened by the insensitivity of those who wrote and published the article.

We need to sow peace. In today's world, it is very difficult to be a sower of peace. Intolerant fundamentalism promotes prejudice and rejection. Embracing the brother or sister who doesn’t happen to fit into what some think is “right” is out of the question. Sowing peace involves suffering and tears. Jesus, by living peace, wept over Jerusalem. He never took up arms. He said that those who use the sword will be killed by the sword (Mt.26.52). He opted for the cross as the path to true peace (salvation). Christianity has opted to defend itself by the sword and avoid giving itself on a cross. It has adapted security over sacrifice as a way of life.

Do Christians really believe in the power of love? Do they really believe that God is able to use the seeds of self-giving as a way to the sprouting of new life? Do they really believe that beyond the cross there is a resurrection and that tears can be transformed into songs of joy?



When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.

domingo, 10 de abril de 2016


Antes mesmo que eu fale,
tu já sabes o que vou dizer.
Estás em volta de mim,
por todos os lados,
e me proteges com o teu poder.
Salmo 139.4-5 – NTLH

Este salmo é uma oração. Revela muito a respeito da natureza da oração e de como se deve orar.

Oração é individual, uma experiência pessoal. A linguagem indica que o salmista está sozinho perante Deus por usar a primeira pessoa “eu”, “me”, “meus”. Jesus ensinou que a oração verdadeira é aquela que acontece na privacidade de um quarto de porta fechada. O quarto é lugar de intimidade, vedado para o público. É lugar de relacionamento amoroso, de coração para coração. A oração de verdade sai do íntimo e se dirige diretamente para Deus.

Barateamos a oração ao torná-la “ato público” ao usamos muitas palavras! Tornando-se pública, não é mais oração... A oração pública é “auto ilusão”. Jesus disse que são os pagãos que acham que Deus ouve orações cumpridas (Mateus 6.5-8). Palavras públicas podem criar barreiras e nos afastar de Deus. Já reparou que Jesus nunca convocou grupos de pessoas para orarem juntos e nunca “fez oração” com ninguém? Ele sempre se afastava da multidão, e até dos discípulos, para estar sozinho com o “Papai”.

O clamor público é um ato pagão e revela que as pessoas se sentem afastadas de Deus. Não se grita, não se clama quando sentimos que o Amado está ao seu lado para compartilhar seu jugo.

A poluição sonora invade até os nossos templos. Confundimos o barulho eletrônico com a voz de Deus. Por sentirmos Deus distante, é necessário chamarmos a Sua atenção com microfones, amplificadores e alto falantes. Achamos que barulho é comunhão e uma espiritualidade elevada. Voltamos ao paganismo.

Na sua essência, orar é curtir a presença de Deus. Mesmo em horas angustiantes, é necessário nos abrirmos diante do Divino e procurarmos sintonizar o nosso espírito com Seu espírito: “seja feita a tua vontade”. A oração não é um ato. É uma atitude.

O conteúdo do salmo revela uma grande intimidade com O Divino e o sentimento de admiração. Mesmo com o emprego da linguagem, seu conteúdo é emocional. O salmista está respondendo a uma revelação da presença contínua de Deus na sua vida desde antes dele nascer.

A oração é “ouvir”. Deus já sabe de tudo e não precisa de nenhuma comunicação da nossa parte. O salmista vivia a presença de Deus e O sentia presente em todo o seu ser. Deus sussurrava no “ouvido” da sua alma e ele percebia a grandeza e a beleza desta intimidade divina.

A linguagem mais eloquente pode ser o silêncio do espanto diante da grandiosidade do Deus conosco.


Ó Senhor Deus, tu me examinas
    e me conheces.
Sabes tudo o que eu faço
e, de longe, conheces
    todos os meus pensamentos.
Tu me vês quando estou trabalhando
e quando estou descansando;
tu sabes tudo o que eu faço.
Antes mesmo que eu fale,
tu já sabes o que vou dizer.
Estás em volta de mim,
    por todos os lados,
e me proteges com o teu poder.
Eu não consigo entender
    como tu me conheces tão bem;
o teu conhecimento é profundo demais
    para mim.

Tu criaste cada parte do meu corpo;
tu me formaste na barriga da minha mãe.
Eu te louvo porque deves ser temido.
Tudo o que fazes é maravilhoso,
e eu sei disso muito bem.
Tu viste quando os meus ossos
    estavam sendo feitos,
quando eu estava sendo formado
    na barriga da minha mãe,
crescendo ali em segredo,
tu me viste antes de eu ter nascido.
Os dias que me deste para viver
foram todos escritos no teu livro
quando ainda nenhum deles existia.
Ó Deus, como é difícil entender
    os teus pensamentos!
E eles são tantos!
Se eu os contasse,
seriam mais do que os grãos de areia.
Quando acordo, ainda estou contigo.

sexta-feira, 8 de abril de 2016


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.
Psalm 139:3-4 – NIV

This psalm is a prayer which reveals much about the nature of prayer and how to pray.

Prayer is an individual and personal experience. The language indicates that the psalmist is alone before God as shown by the use of the first person "I", "me", "mine". Jesus taught that true prayer is that which happens in the privacy of a bedroom with the door closed. The bedroom is a place of intimacy, closed to the public. It is the place of loving relationships where heart meets heart. Prayer is an intimate truth that comes out and goes directly to the Divine presence.

We cheapen prayer when we make it into a "public act". When it becomes public it is no longer prayer. Public prayer is "self-delusion". Jesus used strong language when he said that saying prayers in public places is hypocritical (Matthew 6.5-8). Have you noticed that Jesus never called a public prayer meeting and that he did not pray with people? When he was with his disciples he left them alone and went off in the distance to pray. He always walked away from the crowd, and even the disciples, to be alone with "Daddy".

Much of what we call prayer is very pagan. What can be more pagan than thinking that repeating the Lord’s Prayer in a public school has anything to do with the presence of God? If prayer is communicating with God why use a microphone to say prayers in auditoriums? Is God deaf? If we are really speaking with God why is it important that others hear what we say? I have been in settings in which loud praying was associated with a high degree of spirituality. True prayer is intimate communion with the Divine out of public view. According to Jesus, “Daddy” hears in secret and answers in secret.

At best public prayer is a liturgical act directed to the worshipers for edification and inspiration. Therefore it should be very short and to the point.

In essence, prayer is an attitude, the enjoyment of the Divine presence which goes beyond mere words. Even in agonizing hours, we need to open ourselves before the Divine and seek to tune our spirit with the Great Spirit: "Thy will be done." Prayer is not an act of speaking, but an attitude of listening.

For the psalmist prayer is "listening". God already knows everything and does not need any communication from us. The psalmist lived the presence of God and felt this in his whole being. God whispered in the "ear" of his soul, and he realized the greatness and beauty of divine intimacy.

Many times the most eloquent language that we can use in prayer is the silence of astonishment at the grandeur of God with us.


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.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.