Psalm 130 – The 5th Sunday After Pentecost – for Sunday, June 28, 2015
“But forgiveness is with you . . .” (Psalm 130:4)
It’s essential when (trying) to follow a Christian path.
It was a guttural shout from Jesus on the cross.
It anchored the middle of the Lord’s Prayer.
It’s what I can gift to others.
(And also receive.)
It is what I need each day.
It is what I already have.
It is . . .
It was there again today, like a welcoming hug home, in Psalm 130. In a sense, in that easy-to-read eight-versed Psalm, less than a score of words reveal the heart of the heart of the Divine nature.
If you kept track of sins, Lord, the Psalmist mused millennia ago, who would stand a chance
But forgiveness is with you.
Which can be simplified too: God forgives.
There have been many (so, so many) who have written about forgiveness before me. All of them were more articulate. There will also be many after I post this inconsequential essay far more articulate about describing, defining, and delighting in divine forgiveness.
Prior to publishing this on my website, I’ll revise it one more time and one more time and one more time in a futile effort to craft the perfect way to say the perfect thing. After all, revision is the writer’s quest for forgiveness. (And thanks be to God that the journey of writing is more important than the destination. If only I believed that . . .)
I am, before my first breath and after my last gasp, forgiven. You are, before your first breath and after your last gasp, forgiven.
There is nothing you have to do.
There is nothing you need to confess.
With an unimaginable, unfathomable, unlimited sense of a love we cannot understand, God forgives.
And forgives again.
And keeps on forgiving.
How humbled I am to (try to) serve a forgiving God. Could I have survived my long-ago divorce or the worst mistakes of my ministry or the shameful things I’ve secretly done without remembering how forgiving the Holy was, is, and always will be?
Although on most days, on those routine and humdrum days, there’s little need for God’s forgiveness.
Why do we kid ourselves into thinking the trivial is trivial?
What about my envious thoughts?
What about my snide remarks?
What about my turning aside from a fellow human’s need?
What about having too much sugar or not enough fiber?
Geez . . . what about me just being so damn lazy?
Truthfully, I’m a bundle of anxiety and uncertainty requiring constant forgiveness. I am desperately in need of forgiveness for what I do (or don’t do) to others . . . and for what I do (or don’t do) to myself.
How could I witness today’s sunrise and not sing alleluia? Instead, I worried about my weight or bank account or . . .
How could I pass by another unique human being and not say hello? Instead, I averted my eyes and fretted about my lousy, busy schedule.
Every day yields a thousand moments of intimate and inimitable joy. Instead, I choose whining and complaining.
Every day offers a thousand possibilities for growth. Instead, I piddle away precious time by judging others (or comparing myself to others) rather than learning and risking and loving.
And yet God keeps forgiving . . .
Even me, the ignorer of the sunrise.
Even me, the avoider of helping others.
Even me, the procrastinator and pontificator.
How could the Psalmist know, so long ago, what I needed to hear today?
Every damn blessed day.