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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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We heard the words of this psalm just a few weeks ago
on Ash Wednesday when we began our Lenten journey.
Out of fear we tend to gloss over our mortality, the
importance of our lives, our work, our loves crowding
out the "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" truth that is our
temporal reality. Then by extension, we also gloss over
our shortcomings, the damage we have done to others
and our world, often without intention. Our limited time
means limited vision. We have polluted, discriminated,
hoarded, degraded and abandoned because our own
survival demanded it--or so we tell ourselves. Lent
invites us to stop and see with God's eyes. The psalmist's
words could be spoken from our hearts, gloss banished,
reality fully lit. We are invited to stand, revealed in God's
presence and along with the psalmist, believe that God is
there to hear our confession, merciful and forgiving.

Create in us a clean heart, O God. Restore to us the joy of your salvation. Amen.

Catherine Malotky '86
Grant and Project Manager for the Center for Stewardship Leaders, Luther Seminary

Psalm 51:1-12 (NRSV)

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.
5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.