September 11

Psalm 51:6-10

“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.” vs. 8

Because we have been created in the image of God for goodness sake, we cannot help but feel terrible when we miss the mark and become conscious of sin’s ugly presence. The experience of sinning leaves us with a heavy weight on our hearts and sometimes the guilt comes close to crushing our spirits. Of course, given our need to at least appear righteous to others, we often keep such feelings hidden, a secret to even our friends and family. When we wander into worship in such moments we don’t need a fire and brimstone condemnation, which is the message too often heard in our congregations! The psalmist in his misery yearned to be lifted up, to hear words of joy and gladness, and that’s what we need too! Our already crushed spirits need healing and restoration–and that’s what we get from our loving and merciful God. What a blessing it is to be a part of a community of faith in which we regularly hear that gospel proclaimed with passion and enthusiasm. The world beats us up regularly with its ego shattering values–we don’t need to be broken afresh on Sunday morning. This doesn’t mean we won’t hear challenging words from our preachers–that’s a part of their calling. But the final word for God’s beloved and broken children is always a word of grace, one that will lift us up and give hope for the future–and bring cleansing to our hearts.

Thought for the Day: When do I most need to hear a word of joy?

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