Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin God does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to You.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore, let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but God’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in God.
Rejoice and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! Psalm 32
A Word of Hope
The Book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible is divided into five sections. Each section closes with a Benediction before moving forward to the next section. The overriding theme of the whole Book of Psalms involves praise for God’s providence, power, creation and deliverance for Israel.
Psalm 32 shows up in the section that is called “The Writings” and, while not all the Psalms are written by David, it is believed that this psalm is among the 73 that were.
In this Psalm, David worships God and speaks of God’s benevolence and grace in the blessing of forgiveness. He gives God honor and thanks for not counting his sins against him and speaks of the importance of confession, repentance and forgiveness.
We are in the season of Lent. It is a season of preparation and, for Christians, it is marked with prayer, fasting and, perhaps the most popular act, giving something up.
Lent is a great opportunity to take personal time to go deeper into our spiritual life. Through prayer, additional acts of service, fasting and study, we make ourselves right with God in preparation for the Great Sacrifice made for humanity as we prepare for Holy Week and Easter.
For many, this includes a time of personal confession, confessing our sin directly to God or, as some prefer to a minister. Regardless of how it works for us individually, we come to confession with the sure knowledge of a God who forgives and is both ready and willing to hear us, not from a place of judgement or shame or guilt, but with a loving embrace. It is offered freely and with a hearty dose of love that ends with words of freedom, “God’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in God. Rejoice and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”
As we move through Lent toward Easter, may we make our confession to God, letting go of the things that weigh us down, steal our joy, and prevent us from being truly free. Let us make ourselves ready to echo the words of David, to rejoice and be glad.
There is no better time than now!
God, we ask that you bless the good we have accomplished and also forgive the wrong that we have done. Have mercy on us, open our hearts and change our lives.
ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS
Siblings in Christ, hear this Good News: the love of God is beyond measure, and you are included in that love. Know that you are forgiven and thus freed to love and serve.
Reverend Dr. Neil G. Cazares- Thomas
Cathedral of Hope Dallas