Thursday March 6, 2014

Categories: Graceful Foundations

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me. You desire truth in the inward being;a therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willingc spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to Godd is a broken spirit a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Our first gathering for the Lenten Study will take place tonight from 6:00 to 7:00 in the sanctuary. I hope you will plan to be present for this initial conversation. We will focus on our Isaiah 58 reading from yesterday and the Psalm 51 reading for today. Child care is always available! Join your brothers and sisters in Christ as we make fresh commitments for the 40 days of Lent!

Would you take a moment to explore the spiritual practice of reading Scripture in a new (actually very ancient) way? First, simply read the two verses below slowly and with deliberation. Then pause and listen in your heart for the word or phrase that stands out in your mind.

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”

Now, read it again, leisurely and with careful consideration. Don’t worry about what it means or where it comes from or even where it fits into the historical flow…just read it and listen. Finally, read it one more time and then write down the word or phrase that stood out to you. Why do those words have meaning for you on this day?

The word that speaks to be is ‘unfailing” as it relates to the love of God. There are times when I know that I am not very loveable. I get grumpy, short tempered, and irritable. Does this ever happen to you? There are days when I really need to hear about the ‘unfailing’ nature of God’s love. From I Corinthians 13, love never fails!

Take a few moments to reflect on the word or phrase that spoke to you. Make a note about what that means for you on this day and how you will respond to the richness of God’s Word. Remember to spend some time in prayer for your church before you shift into your regular schedule of activities!

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