Wednesday of Pentecost 3 – Psalm 130

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
    O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.

I lay on the hard ground, not directly, there was a sleeping mat under me and a sleeping bag around me. It was very cold. My son and I were crossing the country to a family event and he wanted to visit some national parks. Unfortunately, all the national parks between my house and that event are located high in the mountains. It gets very cold high in the mountains in late April. The mat itself, while keeping me warm, was not quite the mattress I had grown used to sleeping upon. In fact, it was feeling paper thin that night. This resulted in me tossing and turning in a futile quest for comfort and sleep. I knew immediately if my foot or a leg strayed off that sleeping mat. I could feel the cold creeping into me from the ground.

The psalmist speaks of watchmen waiting for the morning. He repeats it. It is a good line, but he wanted to emphasize it. The small hours of the morning pass by incredibly slowly when you are waiting for the sun to rise. Lying awake, sore, a little cold, staring at the screen of my phone which told me that it was only 2:45 AM, barely ten minutes since the last time had checked, I started to get a sense of what it meant to be a watchman waiting for the morning, waiting for the morning. I think the psalmist must have pulled a little guard duty in his day.

Rendered uncomfortable, even in pain, by sin, we wait for a particular dawn. With the Lord there is steadfast love, that Son shines brightly. He redeems Israel from all iniquity. The psalmist was in the depths, a dark and frightful place, much worse than my warm sleeping bag and a singular uncomfortable night because I was unused to the hard ground. He waited for the dawn of God’s steadfast love and plentiful redemption. What tormented his soul that night? We do not know. Yet, I know what torments my soul and you know what torments your soul. We can all join him in this prayerful and hopeful expectation. We wait for the dawn.

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