Church Life, Lent, Psalms

Forgiveness

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. (Psalm 51:1)

The days grow longer, and tomorrow we may get a spring, rather than a winter, rain here in Maine. It's tempting to press ahead in our thoughts to Easter and beyond, to the daffodils and the tulips and putting in the garden, the early peas and lettuce. So I'm sorry to be the one to remind us that we're still in Lent.

Actually, it's the lectionary that reminded me. I looked at the passages for this coming Sunday and found Psalm 51, the same psalm we read on Ash Wednesday, the psalm that sings over and over:

God forgive me, God forgive me.
I am not right with you.
I am not right with anyone.

And surely we have all felt that way. Surely words have crossed our lips that we wish we could have back again. Surely things have been done, or left undone, that we regret.

Perhaps it is within our power to fix those things. Perhaps it is not too late to speak to the person we may have wounded with a sharp or hasty tongue. Perhaps it is not too late to reach an understanding in the relationship where we struggle.

And certainly it is not too late to turn toward God and say, "I'm sorry. I didn't realize where that choice would lead. I didn't know that being right and saying so would hurt someone else. I didn't think that taking one step in the wrong direction would carry me so far from you."

God forgive me, God forgive me.
I am not right with you.
I am not right with anyone.

On this day, help me to speak kindly.
On this day, help me to show love.
On this day, help me to turn toward you.

3 thoughts on “Forgiveness”

  1. I was looking for what translation you are using…but I think this is your own riff on the Psalm…?
    I love this from The Message:
    Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
    Scrub away my guilt,
    soak out my sins in your laundry.
    I know how bad I’ve been;
    my sins are staring me down.
    …God’s Big Laundry. 🙂

  2. Funny, but I just discussing forgiveness with a parishioner today. You have said so well what I tried to convey – that it’s never too late to forgive and that God’s grace is great enough to forgive it all.
    I think forgiveness is one of those elements of the human condition where we do truly have to work together with the Holy to make it work. I think that’s what makes it so powerful.

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