Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey - 4th Sunday in Lent
The Fourth Sunday in Lent - Sunday, March 27
Our Fourth Little Easter
The Sundays of Lent are not considered in the count of the season’s 40 days. Sundays are for celebrating the resurrection on each phase of life’s journey. During Lent we have several “Little Easters” to refresh us along our way. We will read the Psalm appointed for each Sunday in Lent in 2022.
Read: Psalm 32
The Joy of Forgiveness
Of David. A Maskil.
1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
6 Therefore let all who are faithful
offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters
shall not reach them.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
else it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the torments of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
Today’s Word from the Weary Wilderness: Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:5)
Reflection: I like when this Psalm comes up in the lectionary, because it gives me an opportunity to reflect on the mule in all of us. The Psalmist describes an unruly temper which “must be curbed with bit and bridle” in order to stay on task. It reminds us a bit of the experience of the Israelites in the desert. We can imagine them (and ourselves, and David) in the desert, all dried up and struggling, looking for a safe hiding place. This is truly a Psalm that addresses a spiritual wilderness experience, made tolerable and safe by confession, prayer, and obedience.
Prayer: God of the Wilderness, bless us as we read this Psalm of turning and changing, this Psalm of repentance. As the Psalmist describes who he once was, may we also be honest about ourselves. May we envision in these words what we can be with your help. And may we become more trusting and truly “upright in heart.” Amen.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
& Chief Missional Strategist