1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lent here in the Western Christian world. Lent is essentially about is prayer, fasting, and repentance. It’s a solemn and introspective season to look at ourselves, a chance to look inwardly at our sins and our mistakes, and ask for God’s forgiveness. Lent is a time to once again refocus our lives on God, and take advantage of this opportunity to grow in faith. Our Scripture verses from the Book of Psalms speaks to this. Here, the Psalmist, King David, is expressing an innermost desire to be cleansed from his sins, and to once again experience the joy and the presence of God’s Holy Spirit. This is what we should ask for during Lent.
Please read and think about each question as it applies to your Christian journey with Christ.
- What does forgiveness mean for you? How would you respond to God’s mercy and grace during Lent?
- What is it about God’s forgiveness that restores us and makes us whole? How do we live out that forgiveness, especially in the context of sharing God’s love with others?
Lord, during Lent, we ask for a somber mind and a penitent heart. May we look at our own failures and shortcomings, and vow to change and live better in your eyes. We thank you for this time to come back to you, in humbleness, always asking for your grace. In Jesus name, Amen.