In today’s poetic discourse, David cries out to almighty God for help and assistance. David, who was powerful, invincible, secure, and successful according to human standards, yields all of his societally established power to open himself up to God. Perhaps the most powerful thing we can do as human beings is to ask for help.
Asking for assistance and sharing our personal lives and stories requires a level of humility many of us find difficult. But abiding in the present kingdom of heaven grants an awesome reversal: We know that we need one another as we live our daily lives, yet we need not become dependent on one another. David shows us that honestly confessing our powerlessness and weakness opens us to God. David admits his sinfulness and finds assurance in God’s love that frees him—and each of us—from internalized shame. This passage reminds us of God’s promises to lead us toward steadfast love and faithfulness, which set us free from the negative thinking of internalized shame.
Perhaps this is the metanoia that we can practice this Lenten season. When we strive for exposure and openness before God, the Holy Spirit empowers us to overcome our own wills and practice living and doing God’s will. God delivers us not only from our past sins but also from self-defeating thinking that continues to haunt us. When we ask for help, God will teach us and lead us God’s way. We can trust that God loves, leads, and encourages us as we strive to humbly serve the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Empowering God, shame and sin bind us. Remind us of your steadfast love and faithfulness as we seek to follow you. Amen.
The season of Lent is now upon us, a time of inward examination that begins on Ash Wednesday. We search ourselves and ask God to search us, so that we can follow God more completely. This examination, however, can become a cause for despair if we do not approach it with God’s everlasting mercy and faithfulness in mind. Although the Flood was a result of judgment, God also saved the faithful and established a covenant with them. The psalmist seeks to learn God’s ways, all the while realizing that he has fallen short and must rely on God’s grace. For Christians, baptism functions as a symbol of salvation and a reminder of God’s covenant faithfulness—not because the water is holy but because God is holy and merciful.
• Read Genesis 9:8-17. When in loss have you experienced a new beginning?
• Read Psalm 25:1-10. How do you remind yourself of your covenant with God?
• Read 1 Peter 3:18-22. When have you given up privilege in order to work for justice?
• Read Mark 1:9-15. When did you last hear God speak these words to you: "You are my . . . beloved; with you I am well pleased"?
Respond by posting a prayer.