Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. – Psalm 51:1-2 (NRSV)
“I’ll do it myself!”
As he says this, my son drags his bench across the kitchen to reach a cup. But they are still out of his reach, and so he looks for something else that will help him reach higher. He’s thirsty but he won’t let me help him. Only after he’s exhausted himself trying to reach it – or hurts or scares himself when he falls – will he come to me for help. Yet I am there the entire time, wanting to help him.
We smile in a knowing way and shake our heads. Children are so stubborn. But are we not the same way? We thirst to be in the presence of a holy God but yet our sin is ever before us. Do we try to cleanse ourselves from our sin? Do we want to do it ourselves? We may want to, but the reality is we cannot.
The psalmist captures the relationship between the created and the Creator. We bring our sin and transgressions to the One against whom we have sinned. God provides mercy. What’s more, it’s not because of our merits but rather because of God’s steadfast love. It is God who must wash us. It is God who cleans our hearts and puts a willing Spirit within us. Our role is to come before God with a broken and contrite heart. This is our offering.
In confession we reach to God with the confidence that God already reaches for us. Let us set aside the belief that we can do it on our own.
Merciful Lord, we stand before you in our transgressions. In your mercy and steadfast love, you wash us whiter than the snow. You restore us to the joy of your salvation. You sustain us with a willing spirit. Teach us to come to you with the faith of child. Open our lips so that we may declare your praise, God of our salvation. Amen.In confession we reach to God with the confidence that God already reaches for us. Let us set aside the belief that we can do it on our own. #grace #mercy Click To Tweet