Thursday, February 26, 2009
Day Three- Friday, February 27
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
As we lean toward Sunday, the first Sunday in Lent, this psalm of deliverance sounds like something Jesus might have repeated during his wilderness sojourn, which is our gospel lesson. A poignant combination of "do nots" and "please do" statements, the psalmist clearly has a sense of Yahweh's closeness and a strong desire to please God. Best of all, the psalm clearly sings about a relationship, one that embraces learning, and some of our dearest relationships are ones that bloom and flourish over time. So here, in the wilderness of Lent, as we're invited to draw closer to God and cultivate a relationship with God that deepens over time. So, for today, we are invited to wonder, explore, learn and give serious thought to what it means to learn or to relearn the paths of the Lord.
I confess my sins to you, O Lord, confident that you will not reject this sinner, bit find new ways to share your forgiveness and steadfast love, through the mediation of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
(Eugene Peterson, Praying with the Psalms, Harper Collins,1993.)