Read this week's text, Psalm 139.
The text begins with an understanding that God has searched us and it ends with a plea for God to search us again. Search us and know us, find our wicked thoughts. See if there is any offensive, hurtful way in us. The psalmist is confident in introspection and confession because the psalmist understands God's vast love for us, God's intricate involvement in who we are.
The lectionary suggests we omit the "problematic" section about enemies and hating those who God hates. I can't imagine omitting that section given the talk of enemies in our world these days. And on Martin Luther King weekend, a conversation about enemies seems more than appropriate. Who and what are our enemies?
How do we name the enemies in our world? Are they other faiths? Other nations? Other armies? Other ideals?
Do we understand enemies over and against the rights we have come to enjoy? Rights like freedom of speech or freedom of religion or privacy? Or do we realize that our enemies are that which keep the Spirit from moving in our lives and our world? The enemy of peace or joy or love or patience or kindness?
We have plenty of ways to illustrate the difficulty in defining "the enemy." The incident in Paris, the constant unrest between Israel and Palestine, the rise of fundamentalism and its relationship with the other expressions of its own religion, the relationship between community and law enforcement, the broken working relationship between the executive branch and the legislative branch of government. Do we dare have a conversation about enemies?
This conversation that the psalmist was having with God was not about naming the enemy over there, it was about recognizing the enemy over here. Because of God's love for us, the psalmist is more than willing to be vulnerable in front of God. Search me. How I hate those who hate you. But Search me - know me - try me. See my hidden faults. Lead me in the everlasting way. Are we willing to be searched like that?
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