For Sunday, November 29, 2015
Year C, First Sunday of Advent
“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul” (v. 1). This act is the essence of a transformed life. How often is it that I forget or fail in this? So many other things clamor for my soul’s attention, whether it be the football game, a worry at work, or rank selfishness. What better way to start Advent than to take a Soul Check based on Psalm 25?
The soul check described here involves two steps. The first step in a soul check is to understand God’s way (vv. 8-10):
he is good and upright (v. 8)
he leads the humble in his way (v. 9)
his way is steadfast love and faithfulness (v. 10)
To be humble means I recognize that I can’t figure things out on my own and that I open my life to the Lord’s guidance to correct my faults and move one step closer toward living well for his glory.
The word translated “steadfast love” is ‘hesed’. This is one of the great words of the Old Testament and refers to God’s overwhelming kindness, concern, and generosity to us. For example, ‘hesed’ is the central theme in the Book of Ruth as we read of Boaz’s ‘hesed’ for Ruth as a reflection of God’s ‘hesed’ for his people including us.
The second step in a soul check is to pursue God’s way (vv. 1-7):
- Express trust (v. 2)
- Ask for deliverance from shame (v. 3)
- Ask to be taught his paths (v. 4)
- Ask to be lead in truth (v. 5)
- Ask him to remember his mercy (v. 6)
- not remembering past sins
- but remembering your steadfast love
Do you ever struggle to know how best to pray. If so here is a great list. How about we try it for this next week and then compare notes here in the comments?
As the hymn says how prone I am to wander. Thank you Father for this soul check to start Advent. To you I lift up my soul. Be glorified in me. Amen.