Psalm 130 (NRSV)
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Verse 1Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Verse 2Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
Verse 3If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
Verse 4But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.
Verse 5I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
Verse 6my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.
Verse 7O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.
Verse 8It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
The Common English Bible (CEB) translates the opening line as, “From the depths, LORD.” This cry “from the depths” comes even before we can say, “Why?” It’s the moment when the life of your beloved has ended, when a relationship has disintegrated, when an accusation has stuck, and we know there isn’t a way to avoid the pain. And as we sit with the pain, express our frustration, tentatively reach out to those around us for support, somehow a trace of hope glides in unexpectedly, and our attention turns completely to God in hope. “My whole being hopes, and I wait for God’s promise.” The psalm writer takes a step toward God because God is the place where we find faithful love and great redemption (CEB). Not restoration of what was lost or a return to how things should have been, but to a future worth living for.
God of our hope, you are there in our lives even when the worst has happened. Help us to feel your embrace in the painful moments and to recognize your presence as you guide us into a hope-filled future. Amen.