Summary: We are fully known... and fully loved!
20150118 2nd Sunday after Epiphany B
Title: Has God Crossed the Line?
Text: Psalm 139
Thesis: We are fully known… and fully loved.
Edward Snowden was so concerned about the way that NSA was invading the privacy of American citizens that he exposed a ton of the National Security Agency’s data to whomever might be interested in it. He is currently enjoying asylum in Russia.
Meanwhile NSA has a number of Data Centers in the United States including one here the Denver Metro area which targets, tracks and downloads intelligence from satellites. The most noted center is near Bluffdale, Utah and is less than a mile from the headquarters of the largest sect of polygamists in the world. Just off Buffalo Hollow Road is a 2 billion dollar, 1 million square foot data center that is our country’s biggest spy center.
The NSA is thought to be the largest, most covert and potentially intrusive intelligence agency ever.
How many data centers are there and what do they do? We don’t know.
But we do know that they monitor and process the content of telephone calls, email correspondence, Facebook postings, text messaging, internet trafficking, transmitting of documents, files and photos (and who knows what else). And we know that they process whatever they collect in 150 sites around the world.
Most of us would say that NSA has crossed the line in what they think they need to know about us. And if we think NSA is intrusive, what do we think about God’s gathering of our personal data? Has God crossed the line? (I ask that with tongue in cheek.)
Unlike NSA which is primarily in the business of scrutinizing our lives, God is in the business of securing our lives. That is not to say that God does not see or care about sinfulness but God’s objective is not to ferret out our stuff but rather to rescue and redeem us.
Psalm 139 clearly teaches us that we are Fully Known. There is nothing about us that is hidden from God.
I. Fully Known, Psalm 139:1-12
A. Intimately Aware, 139:1-6
O Lord, you have examined my heart and your know everything about me. Psalm 139:1
In the film Shall We Dance there is a bit of dialogue that is fitting for us today.
…in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things … all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying, "Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness."
We all want our lives to matter, and we believe they only matter if they are noticed by someone.
I recently did some research and found there are a bunch of social networking sites and that there are 15 social networking sites I should be using (again, tongue in cheek.). I asked two of our students, “What are the most popular social networking sites among your friends?” And they both said Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
It could be said that there is a bit of narcissist in everyone who blogs or Tweets or posts… but more than that I wonder if these are ways we go about making sure others are aware of our existence.
Skye Jathani says, “Isn’t that what fuels a lot of blogs, Facebook, and especially Twitter. We want someone, anyone, to take notice … to care about us … to watch us and by their attention communicate, "You matter. Your life counts." (Skye Jethani, "Why I Don't Tweet," Skyebox: The Weblog of Skye Jethani, 11-12-09)
Our text today speaks of the biggest and best witness to our existence in the universe. God!
God is omniscient. God knows all of our stuff. Psalm 139 says it best:
O Lord, you have examined me and know everything about me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up. You know my thoughts. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say before I say it. You go before me and follow me.
God is intimately aware of you. Us. God is Intimately Aware of everything about us including our blogs, Facebook and Twitter postings…
Not only does God know everything about us, God is everywhere with us. We call that omnipresence.
B. Inescapably Present, 139:7-12
I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! Psalm 139:7
The film Wit is based on the 1999 Pulitzer Prize winning play about a single woman's battle with terminal cancer. No longer able to continue her work as an English professor, Vivian Bearing deals with experimental cancer treatments and the humiliation that she is no longer in control of her life.