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First Thursday

LISTEN

READ
Psalm 51:1-17

CONTEMPLATE
Welcome to Lent meditation and worship with Westside church. During this Lenten season, meet us here each day as we read scripture, worship and rest in the presence of God together. Know that as you listen today, you are doing so with others whether in the same space as you or not, and we pray that the Holy Spirit permeates the places we each find ourselves in right now. 

Let us start today by clearing our minds and opening our hearts and minds to what the Lord wants to speak to us through His word today. Take a deep breath in and out. And another in and out.

One of the  reasons we observe the season of Lent is to prepare ourselves as Easter approaches through repentance. It is a time when we come face to face and grapple with our own brokenness and sinfulness, our humanity and again recognize our great need of a Savior. Life is a roller coaster with a lot of ups and a lot of downs that we can lose ourselves in. To participate in Lent as a season of self-reflection and repentance gives us space to reintegrate our bodies and souls in light of the view of the gift Jesus bestowed upon us — a second chance and eternal life.

Our God is the God of Second Chances. God’s people spent centuries walking away from him and then coming back just to do it all over again, and yet, he still wouldn’t leave us in the dark alone. Jesus came to earth to bring us into the light with him. And even as we continue to sin day after day, we are given another opportunity to choose differently, to choose life, to choose the way of Jesus.

In Psalm 51 we read as David grieves his own sinful choices. The cry of his repentant heart and his ask for a second chance. David’s sin irreparably changed his and other people’s lives. And he comes to the Lord not only asking forgiveness but also a changed heart.

Let’s read Psalm 51:

Look on me with a heart of mercy, O God,
    according to Your generous love.
According to Your great compassion,
    wipe out every consequence of my shameful crimes.
Thoroughly wash me, inside and out, of all my crooked deeds.
    Cleanse me from my sins.
For I am fully aware of all I have done wrong,
    and my guilt is there, staring me in the face.
It was against You, only You, that I sinned,
    for I have done what You say is wrong, right before Your eyes.
So when You speak, You are in the right.
    When You judge, Your judgments are pure and true.
For I was guilty from the day I was born,
    a sinner from the time my mother became pregnant with me.
But still, You long to enthrone truth throughout my being;
    in unseen places deep within me, You show me wisdom.
Cleanse me of my wickedness with hyssop, and I will be clean.
    If You wash me, I will be whiter than snow.
Help me hear joy and happiness as my accompaniment,
    so my bones, which You have broken, will dance in delight instead.
Cover Your face so You will not see my sins,
    and erase my guilt from the record.
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
    restore within me a sense of being brand new.
Do not throw me far away from Your presence,
    and do not remove Your Holy Spirit from me.
Give back to me the deep delight of being saved by You;
    let Your willing Spirit sustain me.
If You do, I promise to teach rebels Your ways
    and help sinners find their way back to You.
Free me from the guilt of murder, of shedding a man’s blood,
    O God who saves me.
    Now my tongue, which was used to destroy, will be used to sing with deep delight of how right and just You are.
O Lord, pry open my lips
    that this mouth will sing joyfully of Your greatness.
I would surrender my dearest possessions or destroy all that I prize to prove my regret,
    but You don’t take pleasure in sacrifices or burnt offerings.
What sacrifice I can offer You is my broken spirit
    because a broken spirit, O God,
    a heart that honestly regrets the past,
You won’t detest.

Are you ready for a second chance? Sometimes we feel as though we are outside the grace of God, that we don’t deserve the second chance. But let me remind you here today, you will never be outside the grace of God. He has forgiven and will continue to, over and over again. Take courage today, bring your sins before Him and accept the forgiveness and grace he gives so freely. Let’s step into freedom together today.

PRAY
Righteous God,
in humility and repentance
we bring our failures in caring, helping, and loving,
we bring the pain we have caused others,
we bring the injustice on society of which we are a part,
to the transforming power of your grace.
Grant us the courage to accept the healing you offer
and to turn again toward the sunrise of your reign,
that we may walk with you in the promise of peace
You have willed for all the children of the earth,
and have made known to us in Christ Jesus. Amen.

WRITE and DISCUSS

  1. What words, phrases or verses stuck out to you as we read Psalm 51? Why?
  2. What verse do you feel speaks most truly about where you are right now in how you approach confession and repentance?
  3. How does it make you feel when you hear that you are NOT outside the grace of God and will never lose the continual second chances you are given?