Wednesday, March 25, 2009

psalm 51


this sunday i'm preaching on psalm 51, you know, that famous poem that david wrote after his adulterous affair with bathsheeba, and his subsequent involvment in the murder of bathsheeba's husband. when he is confronted with all of this, david, a man after God's own heart, writes this very moving poem, and it has become a prayer for forgiveness ever since. how many people in their youth group days sang, "create in me a clean heart, o God...?" right from psalm 51.
but one of the things i love about this psalm is that david knows his own condition. he knows that his sin is bigger than just one episode. he knows that he is, as he says, "a sinner since birth." it is a freeing realization, really. when we realize that we are broken at our beginning, we no longer hold ourselves up to some standard of perfection. when we realize that we live in a less than perfect world, in less than perfect standing with our creator, we are free to embrace our own less-than-perfection. when we do that - when we get comfortable with our own sin - we don't have to work so hard to hide it, to lie about it and continue to pattern of sin just to try and conceal our sin - a sick cycle.
but we don't have to ride on that carousel. we can own up to our sin-and our sinfulness-and be contrite. we can repent when we fall, and keep trying to live the lives to which we are called. and perhaps, most importantly, we never ever have to lose hope because we know that while we continue to live in brokenness now, there will come a day when all that is broken is made whole. even me.
until then, david has written my daily prayer.

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