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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Today’s Reading | Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
   Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
   to the voice of my supplications!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
   Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
   so that you may be revered.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
   and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
   more than those who watch for the morning,
   more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
   For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
   and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
   from all its iniquities. (NRSV)

Reflection
I’ve lived most of my life in the Midwest—so I don’t mind a bit of snow and cold. In fact, I think a bit of weather-induced suffering builds character. However, one thing that I’ve become less and less able to bear is the shortening of the days that accompanies wintertime. When it’s dark as midnight out at 4:30 in the afternoon, I feel deflated and more than a bit depressed, and I can’t wait for the days to lengthen and brighten up.

So I wonder what waiting for the morning sun must be like for one whose life depends on it. Perhaps that author of Psalm 130 knew what keeping watch during a dangerous night felt like—maybe out in the wilderness surrounded by wild animals; maybe inside a town besieged by enemies. How welcome must the light of day have been to one who feared the danger and potential death that darkness could bring?

We’re a few weeks past the winter solstice, so we know that the light is returning and that warm sun will bring life to the ground that is now cold and hard. But do we have the assurance of light and renewed life for all the other parts of our lives that are cold and dark? For our broken and neglected relationships? For our experiences of pain and loss? For those parts of our lives where we’ve failed to do right by others?

The psalmist urges us to wait for God in those places; to wait for God even more fervently than a Chicagoan waits for the warm sunshine of springtime—because with God alone is there the hope of redemption in our lives.

Prayer
God, I admit that I wait for a lot of things to come and save me from the difficulties I face—money, other people, a change in circumstances. But I admit that I don’t always think to wait for your presence to enter into my life. Help me to wait for you like the winter ground waits for the sunlight. Amen.

Written by Hardy H. Kim, Associate Pastor for Evangelism


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