Our Lenten Journey: Miserere

Reading: Psalm 51: 1-12

Scripture: “Havemercy on me, O God…blot out my transgressions…and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51: 1 – 2)

Reflection: Yesterday’s devotion brought us the Weeping Prophet, and today we meet the Wailing King.  Psalm 51 is actually referred to as Miserere, which is the Latin word for miserable, wretched, unhappy.  David starts Psalm 51 leaning on the unfailing love of God and begging for mercy.  He is feeling the weight of his sin.

So Nathan, a man who understands David very well, engages David in a conversation that pokes at his sense of justice. Nathan tells a story of a man who takes advantage of another man by taking away his beloved possession.  David, who cannot escape his sin, feels the renewed and desperate buzzing of his conscience and becomes suddenly, wretchedly aware of his sin, and turns to God for forgiveness, for compassion, for cleansing, and for restoration. 

David is humiliated and humbled. He somehow understands that God wants him back on track, and is offering him the opportunity to repent and be restored? So, grief-stricken, and penitent he pours out his desperate pleas to God in the verses of the psalm on which we reflect today.

These are words that apply equally to us at times, in our less tha perfect lives. Like David we often come face to face with our sinfulness and must seek repentance and cleansing. At such times, we are often broken and desperate for His love and compassion and forgiveness. This is the purpose of God’s correction, to allow us to see ourselves and re-chart our paths, and reconcile ourselves to the God who loves us over and above all.

Having seen how God dealt with the Israelites, the new covenant God offers, we know – just as David knew – that this reconciliation is ours for the taking.  We must therefore intentionally and purposefully reach for it, moving from despair and darkness into the light of restoration by accepting that peace and joy which comes only from Him. 

Meditation: He restoreth my soul

Prayer: Jehovah, Friend of Sinners, create in me a clean heart, and renew a right Spirit within me.  Amen.

The St. Jude’s Writers

St. Jude’s Church

Stony Hill

Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands

23 March 2021