Job 40-42; Acts 15:36- 16:40; Psalm 51
Yesterday we thought of ‘surrendering ourselves to the unfathomable mystery of the Love of God’ – that which sustains all life and upholds the universe and is its most profound meaning.
In the sure and certain confidence of such love we may pray Psalm 51. In the Orthodox liturgy it is said every day at morning prayer. It is an acknowledgment of who we are – and who God is. It is fundamentally honest with regard to ourselves and our relationship to God. ‘Against you only have I sinned’ Our sin of course always has consequences which hurt others. Every sin does this – we are I think hopelessly naive about how our lives are so woven together that every sin has consequences of which we cannot dream, and perhaps that is just as well. [There is I think, a helpful parallel in chaos theory – which famously suggests that the beat of a hummingbird’s wing in the Philippines leads to hurricanes over the Atlantic – thus it is with our sin]
But rather than hide this profound truth about ourselves, we live out of an even deeper truth – that we live our lives in even deeper weave with that of God, who is closer to us than our own heartbeat. And so we come with confidence before him, not parading our sins, but confident in his love and mercy, with broken and contrite hearts. All our efforts to please turned to dust – which is of course the raw material of life, from the dust of the earth we were made, and from dust God can and does remake us, in his tender Love and mercy.
We say with Job ‘I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted – my eye has seen you and I repent in dust and ashes’
Job is commended for speaking the truth about God. To daily seek forgiveness in confidence and trust, is such truth speaking, and therein lies our great Hope.