Even When It Hurts: February 17, 2021 (Ash Wednesday)

Even When It Hurts -- Lent 2021 Devotional Book

Read: Psalm 51

Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.
-Psalm 51:10

When I was a small child, a Sunday school teacher told us that Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus, because she had been so good all her life. In my child’s mind, and in a circular way of thinking, I thought that if I were very good all the time, I might also get to be Jesus’ mother. From then on, I was as good as I could be, so I was very easy to bring up, and a delight to classroom teachers. I couldn’t understand why others thought it was so difficult to follow rules and behave as one should.

Then as I grew into adulthood, I began to find it more difficult not to sin. Or maybe I was just more aware of all the ways I could hurt others and God. God once forgave me for what I thought was an unforgivable sin, and I then understood my need for God to keep me on the straight path. I couldn’t do it on my own.

The psalmist was way ahead of me, knowing deeply how easy it is to sin, and how only God can cleanse us and set us on the right path. Most of us try not to hurt others or to do what is wrong, but, oh, how we fail. Our loving God, however, is so ready to forgive us and welcome us into God’s warm, loving embrace. Then, having been forgiven and cleansed, we can go forth again, trying to do what is right in God’s sight.

Oh, Lord, thank you for always being ready to forgive us and to lift us up into your loving arms. Without you, we cannot be whole, but with your grace, we can try always to do what is right and good. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
-Penny Worrell