Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: A Liturgical Reading of Psalm 51 and Romans 7:14-8:1

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.

Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh.

Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;

you taught me wisdom in that secret place.


For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones you have crushed rejoice.


So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.


For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence

or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

and sinners will turn back to you.


What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God,
you who are God my Savior,

and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.


So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in my flesh a slave to the law of sin.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart

you, O God, will not despise.


Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Those go together incredibly well. That was beautiful...and, incidentally, it was exactly what I needed to read right now. Thank you.

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