1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 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.
In our current cultural and political climate, we can barely determine truth, let alone justice. It is both a comfort and a horror to know that God sees through our public exterior to the truth of our hearts. I am both grateful for and terrified of this fact, depending on the state of my heart and mind any given day, hour or moment.
It’s interesting to note that David wrote this psalm after he had been with Bathsheba and was wracked with guilt over his transgression. He says, “Against you, and you ALONE have I sinned, and done what is evil in his sight”… He doesn’t factor in any other relationship or consequence than his relationship to the Almighty. He knows he is SEEN and that there is no fooling God. What a gift that forces us to see ourselves then with such clarity and authenticity, humility and vulnerability.
How hard is it for us to speak to God when we know how completely we have failed in loving, in our thinking and behavior?
How glorious that, because the Lord desires relationship with US, he invites us to be in his presence and see ourselves. Not just in the light of guilt or failing, but awash in the knowledge of his love, his fairness and above all his mercy. In the presence of His great grace, how can be help but be humble, grateful and to then extend His mercy to others?
Jesus, merciful Savior, thank you for your grace and love that goes far ahead of your justice. We are not worthy, but we are deeply grateful. AMEN
“Then Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’” Luke 1:38.
This is Mary’s “yes” to God’s action in her life. Henri Nouwen in his meditations for Advent titled In Joyful Hope says: “You have to say ‘yes’ fully to your powerlessness in order to let God heal you. But your willingness to experience your powerlessness already includes the beginning of surrender to God’s action in you. Your willingness to let go of your desire to control your life reveals a certain trust. The more you relinquish your stubborn need to maintain power, the more you will get in touch with the one who has the power to heal and guide you.”
Jesus, I confess that I struggle to stay in control. My Christmas prayer for myself is to surrender and trust you for what I need to grow.
(c) 2017 Eunice Cheshire
Spiritual Director &
HeartPaths Core Faculty
it is so high that I cannot attain it. (Psalm 139: 1-2, 6)
It is said that Advent is a season of wonder. What is it that fills me with awe? Today (truth be told), I have one foot in the exuberant joy that is just around the corner. I struggle to avoid “skipping ahead” to lose myself in the beloved story. But still, I know that it isn’t just contemplating God coming to earth that fills me with awe. I drag myself back from anticipating the Incarnation to ponder the reality of God being fully present in me, not just on earth. Now, that truly is too wonderful.