Ash Wednesday

March 6th, 2019

  • When we take an inventory of David’s life, we are reminded of his great triumphs like his defeat of Goliath.  Our memory conjures up the picture of a young shepherd boy taking care of his flock and being anointed king by the prophet Samuel.  David was the greatest king in Israel.  However, at the height of his reign, David committed one of the most despicable sins recorded in scripture.  He coveted another man’s wife.  He committed adultery with this woman and to hide his sin, he arranged for the woman’s husband to be killed.  It’s a dark story and it is a part of David’s legacy.

    I can only imagine that most of us can remember that one incident or that one story that we would love to forget.  We caused harm to someone and we can’t forget it.  Furthermore, many of us live in a state of paralysis, incapable of receiving God’s full pardon for what we’ve done in the past.  It is in this space that we began our Lenten journey this year.  Being reminded that God’s activity in our lives means we can courageously deal with our past.  As we read and engage Psalm 51, we may be tempted to believe that David’s prayer of contrition eliminated all memory of his horrific sin.  I’m not sure that was the case.  I do believe that David penned words that represent the ardent cries of our own hearts when we consider the bad stuff we’ve done.  The past need not be the prime mover in our own stories.

    As you consider participating in this 40 day fast, take a moment and repeat (several times) this phrase from Psalm 51 – “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.”

  • Psalm 51

    For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

    Have mercy on me, O God,
        according to your unfailing love;
    according to your great compassion
        blot out my transgressions.
    Wash away all my iniquity
        and cleanse me from my sin.

    For I know my transgressions,
        and my sin is always before me.
    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.
    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.

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

    10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
        and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
    11 Do not cast me from your presence
        or take your Holy Spirit from me.
    12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
        and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

    13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
        so that sinners will turn back to you.
    14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
        you who are God my Savior,
        and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
    15 Open my lips, Lord,
        and my mouth will declare your praise.
    16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
        you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
    17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
        a broken and contrite heart
        you, God, will not despise.

    18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
        to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
    19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
        in burnt offerings offered whole;
        then bulls will be offered on your altar.


Dion Frasier

Reynoldsburg Church of Christ


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