Our primordial encounters with God precede our later articulation of what God means to us. Before we could use language, before we even knew what language was, a Loving Presence brought us into existence from our mother’s womb. Surrounded by petitions for divine aid, vows of praise, and poignantly expressed despair, the psalmist smuggles in this dash of retrospective awe when he says, “Since my mother bore me you have been my God.” The same is true for us. We can also retrieve these memories of God in our first moments, before our first moments, and use them as a defense against environmental and social harms, as a source of devotion that undergirds our connection to our Creator and to our self.
—Gabby Cudjoe-Wilkes and Andrew Wilkes, Psalms for Black Lives: Reflections for the Work of Liberation (Upper Room Books, 2022)
When have you felt that God was far away from you? Join the conversation.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? . . .
But you, O Lord, do not be far away!
O my help, come quickly to my aid!
—Psalm 22:1, 19 (NRSVUE)
Prayer for the Week
Gracious God of Liberation, free us from our enemies. And when we are the enemies, transform us from oppressing others into removing the yoke from their necks and practicing freedom. In Christ’s name, Amen. —Prayer from Psalms for Black Lives by Gabby Cudjoe-Wilkes and Andrew Wilkes
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
This week’s featured book, Psalms for Black Lives, is now available in audiobook. Listen, pray, and develop a justice imagination. Learn more here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.