“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.” (Psalm 51:1-5)
You may recognize this Psalm passage from earlier in the year. It was part of the Lectionary Cycle for Ash Wednesday. It sounded very familiar to me when I was looking it over and considering what to say. This week’s scriptures do not seem to have a cohesive discernible theme for the week. Some weeks the scripture passages seem to speak to one theme or idea. But what does come through is our need to prepare ourselves, and what preparations have been made for us; the Old Testament passages speak to that. The New Testament passages have a slightly different emphasis; but we will look at that later in the week.
“You desire truth in the inward being; 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.” (Verses 6-8)
It is good to remember that God has made preparation for when the Lord’s people have gone astray and sinned. God desires a relationship with humanity, and does everything in the Divine’s power to maintain that relationship.
“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 willing spirit.” (Verses 9 -12)
But we need to do our part; we need to desire a relationship with God. The strength of our desire to be in relationship to God will be match by God’s relating to us. God’s Spirit creates a hunger in our soul for God; sadly too many people try to sate that hunger with other things. God stands ready to enter our lives, but we must open ourselves. God may create opportunities, direct people to do ministry, and in an infinity number of ways reach out to humanity. But we must reach out to God to.
The prayer that is Psalms 51 is the author of Psalms petition to God for salvation and relationship. May you beloved reader lift up such prayers this Lenten season. Selah!