Scripture: Psalm 143
Key verse: (8) Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Reflection: Is it better to ask for pardon or permission? Pardon I say if answering for myself and definitely permission if I am thinking about what my children should do. Psalm 143, one of the seven penitential psalms (also 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129) that give us language to seek mercy and forgiveness is pretty clear on the question. You should definitely seek permission. That is to say — plan ahead. For our psalmist repentance begins not with an apology after the fact, but repentance begins by making a plan to avoid the need for repentance all together.
If we can wake in the morning listening for God’s love (what an interesting invitation- what will love sound like?); if we first place our day in God’s hands before we put it in gear and drive wildly off in all directions; if we can ask for God’s guidance before we tell God of all of the places we need to be and all of the things we need to do; if we lift up our souls with the same desperation and determination with which we lift up our coffee cups to our mouths; we may discover a day set to unfold rather than unravel. If we start the day seeking help, seeking love, seeking guidance from God, we may find at the day’s end that we have more to rejoice in than to regret.
Prayer: Satisfy us in the morning Lord with your love. Help us this day to receive all you give, help us this day to give all we receive from you in love and service to all. In Jesus name. Amen.
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].