from Jessica Patton
My absolute favorite verses in all of today’s readings are Psalm 32.1-2: “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”
Did you catch that? The one who is blessed is not the one who is sinless and somehow manages to be perfect on their own. The one who is blessed is the one who rightly sees just how bad their sin really is, confesses it, and receives God’s forgiveness. I think the part where it says “in whose spirit there is no deceit” could be taken to mean that the one who is blessed clearly see the ways in which they have fallen short. They’re not deceiving themselves about the dreadfulness of their sin or attempting to minimize the size or the severity of their transgression.
The Deuteronomy passage is a great reminder of how impossible it was for people to fulfill the law on their own: eat this, don’t eat that, do this every year, do this every three years, don’t forget these people, and on and on with all the things required to meet God’s standards. Even the Luke passage shows how difficult it is for us, who are not under the law, to be right with God. One of the requirements to be children of God, according to Jesus, is that we must “hear the word of God and do it.”
But that’s why those first two verses of Psalm 32 fill me with so much joy. There is absolutely no hope for me to be righteous on my own. When I am honest with myself and God, it is abundantly clear that my transgressions are manifold and severe. Yet the Lord hears our cries when we come to Him with confession and repentance, and He stands ready to forgive. And He doesn’t just forgive begrudgingly, either - He blesses us, teaches us, counsels us, watches over us, and surrounds us with His love. Thanks be to God!
I am absolutely thrilled it is finally spring, and am enjoying spending as much time as possible outside.