1 I cry out to you from the depths, LORD—
2 my LORD, listen to my voice!
Let your ears pay close attention to my request for mercy!
3 If you kept track of sins, LORD—
my LORD, who would stand a chance?
4 But forgiveness is with you—
that’s why you are honored.
5 I hope, LORD.
My whole being hopes,
and I wait for God’s promise.
6 My whole being waits for my LORD—
more than the night watch waits for morning;
yes, more than the night watch waits for morning!
7 Israel, wait for the LORD!
Because faithful love is with the LORD;
because great redemption is with our God!
8 He is the one who will redeem Israel
from all its sin.
Sometimes people assert that God was not forgiving until Jesus came. But trust and hope in God’s promise to forgive and show mercy was the central theme of Psalm 130, one of the “journey songs” Israelites sang as they journeyed to Jerusalem for Passover. God’s faithful love and great redemption was a source of joy for them. It is still one reason we light the candle of joy every year during Advent.
Lord Jesus, too often, I take you for granted. This Advent season remind me that living in trust and joy, even when I have to wait, is one key to the good life you have for me. Amen.
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During the season of Advent, we are sharing ideas for family activities as we “Countdown to Christmas!” Each day includes a simple way for families to remember what Christmas is all about. See this post and others like it on our @churchoftherez Instagram.
* J. Clinton McCann, Jr. Study note on Psalm 130:7 in The CEB Study Bible (Nashville: Common English Bible, 2013), p. 986 OT.
What really struck me in today’s passage was the earnest language the psalmist used in hoping for God’s mercy. There’s a raw honesty in these words that I scarcely hear in conversations today. When the psalmist writes, “I cry out to you from the depths, LORD,” and then we realize that the “depths” he speaks of are sin and shortcoming, it speaks volumes of the weight given to sin in these times.
When I look back on scripture passages that speak of sin like it’s the worst thing in the world and focus intently on it, it’s always been hard for me to grasp, because today’s culture likes to focus on the positive. We sing songs about how great God is and how amazing his love is, but songs with raw honesty about our own brokenness can seem awkward. We still have a few lines that describe this, but we too often view them as metaphorical and symbolic rather than actually believing we’re broken and in need of redemption.
It took me a while to realize that this desperate fixation on sin and brokenness doesn’t imply guilt, but a desperate drive to be better. We put limits on negativity because we think it will limit our guilt, but it also puts limits on our hope. It’s not good to wallow in guilt and feel like we’re stuck there--that’s not what the psalmist is doing here--but the brightness of our hope often relies on how honest we’re willing to be about our faults and true need for redemption.
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