Author: Deborah Conner
Scripture: Psalm 130 A Song of Ascents
Key verse: (7) “O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.”
Reflection: This psalm is one of seven penitential psalms found in the Bible. The others are 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, and 143. These are psalms of confession and hope. Psalm 130 is also known as a Song of Ascent. These were psalms sung by pilgrims as they traveled up to Jerusalem to worship in the Temple. They are reminders of God’s love and forgiveness in spite of human sinfulness. The Psalmist is confessing his or her sin to God, longing for forgiveness, knowing that God hears the cries of regret and remorse.
There are many people who don’t know how to repent or find the forgiveness they want. Some come to the conclusion that they have done too many things wrong, so they don’t expect to receive anything from God. There is nothing God can’t forgive, yet because some people can’t forgive themselves, they decide that God won’t forgive them, either. Maybe you are that person. If so, read this psalm today. You may discover that God has been waiting to pour forgiveness into your life until you were ready. If you know someone who is struggling with sin and forgiveness, pray this psalm for them and let God do the rest.
Advent can be a time of reflection for many people. As we remember the birth of our Savior and contemplate the new year ahead of us, there may be some things that need to change. For many people, this change begins with forgiveness. Let’s pray we can both receive and give this forgiveness to someone who needs to experience God’s love this season.
Prayer: Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image; through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.
(Prayer taken from The Book of Common Worship, PCUSA)
[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].