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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Today’s Scripture 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)

Often when I read the words of scripture, a particular time and place will come to mind, a setting where the verses spoke with faithful meaning, creating valued memory. Such was the case as I read and pondered Psalm 130. Memories of the memorial services I presided over in the sanctuary of Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church—where I served as pastor for many years—returned to me.

While I am grateful for the celebration and thanksgiving that characterizes memorial services, worshipers seek more in these moments. As we confront the death of a loved one or dear friend we also recognize the mixed message of their lives—and our own. There are moments we seek compassion, justice, and peace. And then there are other moments of mistakes, hurtful behavior, and detours that lead us away from the love of God and all our neighbors.

Our hope rests in our ultimate trust in God, our God who hears us when we cry out from the depths of our despair; our God who understands the mixed message of our lives; our God who does not keep track of our iniquities (for who could stand); our God of forgiveness, grace, and steadfast love.

I thank you, loving God, that you hear our searching laments and that you respond with forgiveness and redemption. May we turn to you, wait for you, hope in you. Amen.

Written by Jeffrey Doane, Parish Associate for Older Adults

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