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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lent begins a season of repentance.

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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 judgement.
5 Indeed, I was born guilty,
a sinner when my mother conceived me.
-Psalm 51: 1-5

Lent begins a season of repentance. For the next 40 days (not counting Sundays) we are to consider our relationship with God and the ways in which that relationship has become frayed. And make no mistake, it has become frayed. Psalm 51, which will be the sermon text for this evening, is an amazing psalm and it begins with a thorough accounting before God of the psalmist's (traditionally held to be King David) transgressions. He knows he has blown it and he spends the rest of the psalm asking God for help and transformation.

When we consider our own relationship with God we are in no better shape. We have spent much of the last year lazily going about the business of faith; shoving God aside, ignoring His commands, forsaking his call. And it is time to sort things out. How many times have you prayed in earnest? How many times have you been in worship? How many times have you read anything from Scripture? How many times have you worked to make the life of another better? How many times have you selfishly poured another drink or rebooted your computer? How many times have you failed to wonder at the majesty and splendor of God? You see the problem. Today is Ash Wednesday and Easter comes in a few short weeks. Let us now prepare our hearts and our lives to receive, once more, the good news of the risen Lord.

Prayer: Holy God, I have failed you. My sin is before me, I see it everyday. I have lived in separation from you and those who love me and I have selfishly sought to please only myself. Please help me, O Lord. Please change my heart. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.



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