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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, October 6, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 25

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.

For your name’s sake, O Lord,
   pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who are they that fear the Lord?
   He will teach them the way that they should choose.

They will abide in prosperity,
   and their children shall possess the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
   and he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
   for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
   for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart,
   and bring me out of my distress.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
    and forgive all my sins.

Consider how many are my foes,
   and with what violent hatred they hate me.
O guard my life, and deliver me;
   do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
   for I wait for you.

Redeem Israel, O God,
   out of all its troubles. (NRSV)

“Turn to me and be gracious for I am lonely and afflicted.”

Have you ever done something really stupid? I did in 1986 when I went to the Goethe Institute in Munich, Germany. I was so excited to be going to Germany because no one in my family had ever been out of the country before. I signed up for classes at the Goethe Institute to become fluent in German and to enjoy a new culture on my own. All the applications and letters indicated I was to be in Germany on 3/2/86 and being a good American boy I thought that meant I was supposed to arrive on March 2, 1986. I had no idea that the European method of writing dates was different than the American method and that they used the day first, then the month and finally the year, so 3/2/86 was for them February 3, not March 2. So I fly across the ocean, first time out of the country, totally alone, and show up in Munich at the Goethe Institute on Sunday afternoon, March 2, a month late for the classes I was registered for in February. They could not have been more understanding and helpful though. They made me feel completely welcome and found a dormitory room for me to stay in, got me registered in a class starting the very next day, March 3 and all was well again. I was incredibly blessed and very lucky. The folks in Munich treated me with such grace and simply made everything right again without passing any judgment. They taught me a lesson in forgiveness I have never forgotten and which I try to pass on as often as I am able.

O God, relieve the troubles of my heart and bring me out of my distress. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

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