One of my favorite prayers in our Book of Common Prayer comes from the service of Compline, that beautiful worship which ends our day. The words that come to me are from the prayer, “Keep us, O Lord, as the apple of your eye”. I simply love those words and the sentiment behind that expression.
First, the prayer begins affirming that you and I are already the apple of God’s eye. The prayer is to be kept in that place of such favor. The prayer is to hold fast to being God’s own. What follows is that wonderfully human expression of delight and pride and, most importantly, love that God has in and for each of us. We are the apple of God’s eye.
I am awed and amazed when I even begin to ponder that the God who created all that is, the God of ultimate knowing, the God of ultimate strength and power – that same God holds me, little old me, as the apple of God’s eye. So vast is our God, yet, at the same time, our God is so intimate, so close, so personal. That is astounding.
In the summer when I sit at the ocean’s edge, one of my recurring thoughts is how tiny I am in comparison with the ocean and with all of creation. Yet I am also reminded that God knows and can count the hairs upon my head, that God knows my innermost thoughts, that God knows my will and desires way, way before I can even begin to imagine them. The God who created and sustains all of creation created and sustains me.
In our earthly life when we know that we are loved and that someone has our back, we are empowered to do good things. Think of the high school football team empowered by the cheers of the crowd, or the small child looking out to find the face of their parent(s) as they are empowered to perform, we know how we are lifted above ourselves to do great things. So much more with you and I. So much more when you and I, the apple of God’s eye, can go into the world with confidence because our God is for us because God keeps us the apple of God’s eye. This gives us the power to live in this world never alone but always with the love, power, and strength of God with us.
Each day brings with it challenges to live our faith. Each day also brings with it the promise that our God is with us to meet those challenges. Each day brings the opportunity to live our faith so that others may see and know our God. Each opportunity also makes it possible for us to shine as we reveal God to the world.
The Rev. Sarah Nelson