Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Unfathomable mercy

Today’s devotional prayer astounds me with its beauty and comfort. I found myself reading it again and again, and I think I will come back to it each day for the rest of Lent. It’s a little longer than the others so I’ll focus on a few passages that really touched me. It starts this way:

O Lord Jesus Christ,
you who forgave the sins of the paralytic
before you let him in again,
I pray that this Lenten period
may make me more aware of your forgiving presence in my life
and less concerned about performing well in the eyes of my world.

It’s such a simple notion; glorifying Christ for his forgiveness and mercy while asking Him to train our attention on His ways instead of ours. But it’s so hard to do this in day to day life, with work and family and everything else tugging at us. These words are the perfect reminder for us to focus on what matters.

After a few lines, the prayer continues:

Take away the many fears, suspicions and doubts
by which I prevent you from being my Lord
and give me the courage and freedom
to appear naked and vulnerable
in the light of your presence
confident in your unfathomable mercy.

I really am my own worst enemy, aren’t I? Why should I, a follower of Christ, be fearful, but yet I am. Do others doubt at times like I do? It’s freeing to know that God forgives all this and much, much more. His mercy gives confidence – I’ve never thought about it that way, but it does.

The prayer goes on in that same vein:

I know how great my resistance is,
how quickly I choose the darkness instead of the light.
But I also know that you keep calling me into the light,
where I can see not only my sins
but your gracious face as well.

What gorgeous imagery, of God calling us into the light and allowing us to glimpse his face.
The prayer ends simply and gracefully:

Be with me every hour of my days.
Praise and glory to you, now and forever. Amen.

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