The First Sunday of Lent:
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
How many times do we say I can’t wait … ?
I can’t wait for the weekend. I can’t wait for my birthday. I can’t wait for our holiday.
The list of can’t waits goes on and on.
But, what do we mean when we say that we can’t wait?
Those words, I can’t wait, are shorthand for: I’m really looking forward to … and I wish I didn’t have to wait.
In their reflection of humanity’s relationship with God, the psalms often look to the future.
However, that looking to the future is not about personal gratification, rather it is about hope.
As in the days we are living through at the moment, the waiting feels intolerable. Sometimes the hope associated with waiting turns into despair.
But, the psalms reflect the lives we are really living, and the words of the psalmist prove that we are not alone as we journey on the emotional rollercoaster that is human life.
What we do encounter in the psalms is the certainty that God delivers humanity from its despair because God is characterized by compassion, commitment and truthfulness.
Waiting for God to act feels very relevant for us at the moment!
But, as we wait, as we set aside the impatience that can so easily turn into doubt, we need to join the psalmist in saying: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust.
In praying these words we are putting ourselves in God’s hands, and we are showing that we trust that our compassionate, committed and truthful God will respond to the faith and trust we place in him.
In praying these words we are setting ourselves and human wisdom to one side and we are making space for God to work in our lives.
The psalmist encourages us to face up to our very human shortcomings.
The psalmist encourages us to take the next step along the path of faithful discipleship, the step that demonstrates our complete trust in God’s goodness and love.
It is difficult for us to be completely honest with ourselves, let alone with God but, as the psalmist tells us: God instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
Let us join the psalmist in declaring and demonstrating our trust in God.
Let us open our hearts and minds that we might be mindful of [the Lord’s] mercy, and of [his] steadfast love.
Let us take God’s hand as he leads the humble in what is right.