Wednesday in the First Week of Lent, Mar 8, 2017
Rev. Anna C. Noon

 

Scripture for the Day

Today’s appointed psalm is a portion of Psalm 51. If it sounds familiar to you, good! We read it aloud in its entirety in the liturgy on Ash Wednesday. The petition of verse 11, “create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me” is prayed daily in the suffrages for both Morning and Evening Prayer. And the request of verse 16, “open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise” is often the first line spoken in the morning prayers.

One of the penitential psalms, Psalm 51 expresses a vulnerability and openness that comes from recognizing brokenness. Tradition holds that David spoke this psalm in the midst of coming to terms with his own culpability. It’s hard facing into our failures.  Sometimes we blame others, sometimes we blame circumstances, but when we find ourselves broken and out of excuses, David’s words resonate. David prays for himself in the beginning, asking God to forgive him, to have mercy on him. But then he asks God to work on his broken heart, to change him on the inside. He knows the cleansing of his heart is not something he can do on his own, and neither can we. It is the work of our God who never despises us, but loves us in and through all things.

What kind of internal change in your heart are you asking God for this Lent?

“Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me… a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

 

Last Published: March 8, 2017 9:16 AM