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Welcome to the JCPC Daily Reflections Blog. Reflections are daily devotionals authored by JCPC pastors, staff and members and provide insight, guidance and comfort to help you make it through each day. If you’d like to receive Reflections each day via email,  provide your email address.

Wednesday, March 09 2022

Have mercy upon me O God after thy great goodness; according to the multitude of thy mercies, do away mine offences. Wash me throughly from my wickedness and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my faults and my sin is ever before me.

-Psalm 51:1-3


As you may know, there are often short bits of text right before a Psalm starts. Some say, “For the director of music,” and some say, “A psalm of David.” Well, Psalm 51 has quite the introductory text. It says in the NIV:


For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.


I sure hope that some editor doesn’t scribble down a little note explaining some horrible sin I had committed when describing some piece of music I’ve written. I don’t think that piece would sell well! But for us, now, in 2022, it offers a little context to understand what these words originally meant. Knowing that these words were written by David as he felt great remorse over a terrible sin gives the words life today. While adultery may not be on your list of past sins, the truth is we have all done things that bring great pain to others and ourselves and we feel bad about them. Thinking of something you wish you hadn’t done, read this psalm and see if you can relate to the words.

All of this is not very uplifting, is it? We want to shy away from these kinds of thoughts and feelings and focus on the happy stuff. That’s probably why people tend to like happier, more upbeat music. But we are now one week into Lent, and this is a season for us to turn inwards and focus on our spiritual journey, our shortcomings, our harmful actions, and our distance from God. One interesting part about verse 3 of this psalm is the part about sin being always before us. To me, this acknowledges that, even in forgiveness, that sin still lingers in front of us on our path. Forgiveness is not the end of the story. During this Lenten season, take some time to ponder on past sins and where you see them still lurking in your life today. We cannot change the past nor can we change our inherent nature, but we can change our behaviors and actions. I wish for myself and for all of you that this Lenten season may be one of spiritual and personal growth so that we may make the body of Christ healthier together.

Prayer for Today

God of Great Goodness, we are challenged during these forty days and nights to repent and bring our broken, shattered hearts before you. Cleanse us with your love and forgiveness and create in us a pure heart that we may spread the love of Christ instead of hate and pain. Let us build up your Church, not for ourselves, but so that you may delight in our works. Amen.

Posted by: AT 12:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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