Deeper

Tonight is our final Lenten worship service of the year. I will be live streaming from my home starting at 7 PM (Pacific) on our YouTube channel: Living Word Lutheran Church – Graham, WA (if that doesn’t work, use Puyallup, WA instead for the city). The text for preaching will be Psalm 130, “God’s Promise of Redemption”. And so with that, I offer the following liturgy of repentance that I wrote for tonight. To God be the glory.


Redeeming God, my rescuer –
All too often I have tried to go it alone.
All too often I have tried to rescue myself.
All too often I have appealed to the world.
And each time I try, I sink deeper,
and deeper,
and deeper into the mire.
I struggle and claw,
I fight and battle,
but to no avail.
It’s a hopeless cause,
and one of my own doing.
Yet my pride gets in the away.
My stubbornness too often wins the day.
I resist,
I deny,
I forsake.
I forsake Your redeeming and steadfast love.
Oh God, I cry out to You.
Hear me.
Rescue me.
Help me.
I am weak and defenseless.
I am tired and sinking.
Deeper,
Deeper,
Deeper, into the mire.
Help me. Save me.
Redeem me!
Oh Lord, my God, hear my cry: I repent…

Waiting for the Lord

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
[Psalm 130:5-6]

These watchmen have the night shift; standing watch on the city wall. They stand watch looking out for those who would want to harm the city, but as they watch, they are also looking for the rising sun. Why the rising sun? The rising sun meant morning and that meant they get to go home and be with their family. And so they waited for the morning; confident that the sun would rise. And they had every reason to be confident. I mean, from the beginning of time, the sun has risen in the morning as it was designed by God to do. And so these men wait; they wait for the rising sun. Confident.

Now consider what the psalmist is saying. His soul is waiting for the Lord and he is more confident in the coming of the Lord than the watchmen who wait for the sun to rise. The sun rises like clock work and even more reliable is the Lord and so his soul waits in hopeful expectation.

Oh weary soul, the Lord is coming, so wait in joyful expectation; being more confident than the rising morning sun. Oh weary soul, wait for the Lord, for He is coming for you.

The Pastor -|—

Be the Town Crier (Psalm 130:5-6)

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.”
[Psalm 130:5-6]

Is your soul more confident of the Lord’s return than some night watchmen standing on the city wall, protecting the city, and waiting for the morning sun to come up?

Is your soul more excited about the Lord’s return than some night watchmen standing on the city wall, protecting the city, and longing to return home at day’s first light?

Is you soul more hopeful of the Lord’s return than some night watchmen standing on the city wall, protecting the city; knowing that the sun will rise in the morning?

Does your soul wait for the Lord?
Is your hope in the Word of God; promising salvation through faith in Jesus?
Do you long for the Lord’s return, so much so, that your soul aches to be away from the Lord?

I don’t know about you, but there are times that I find myself sitting in my quiet living room; listening very carefully. What am I listening for? I am listening for a trumpet. Nope, not the local high school marching band, but THE heavenly band announcing the arrival of our Lord and King. I am waiting for the trumpet blast that will signal me to run outside to watch our Lord returning on the clouds.

And what a scene that will be.

I can hardly wait for that day. I can hardly wait for Jesus to establish God’s Kingdom here on this earth. I can hardly wait for Satan, sin, evil and death to be done away with. I can hardly wait for God to wipe my tears away.
[Revelation 20 & 21]

I can hardly wait to reside in God’s holy kingdom where the gate never needs to be shut because there is no night; where there is no sun because the glory of God is the light and where there is no temple because God Almighty and the Lamb is it’s temple.
[Revelation 21:22-25]

I can hardly wait for all things to be made new.

In the mean time, our souls wait because that’s all we can do. But don’t be idle; just sitting around waiting. Don’t just be a night watchman waiting for the sun to rise so you can go home. Be the town crier; announcing the arrival of the King. Wake people up so they too can run outside and watch their Lord and King arrive on the clouds.

Praise be to God!

Heavenly God and King, we anxiously await the day when Your son returns to establish Your kingdom. In the mean time stir our hearts to be criers; announcing and preparing people to receive Your son. May we not be idle but active in our anxious waiting. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Where is your hope?

Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

Hope is a scary thing…

…because it is placed in something (or someone) that we can not see.  If we can see it, feel it, touch it, taste it, etc, then we can’t have hope in it.  As scripture tells us, how can you hope in something that you can see?  But even though hope can be scary when viewed in this light, people often have no problem placing their hope in things/people that can guarantee nothing.  An athlete places their hope in their abilities…but one play can end their season or career.  Investors place their hope in their financial institutions, but as we have seen lately…well…I don’t need to elaborate.  People place their hope in one another, but the best of relationships can end with one word.

Hope placed in this world is a misplaced hope.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

As these watchmen stood on the wall, guarding the city, they waited for the morning sun to rise.  When the sun rose it indicated that their shift was over and they could return home…to be with their family and friends.  These watchmen knew the sun was going to come up.  They knew they were going home.  So they waited with a sure and certain hope.

But the hope this psalmist has is even more certain than that of the city watchmen.  This psalmist does not place his hope in things that can fail; in people that can let him down; in institutions that can crumble.  No!  This psalmist places his hope in the Lord.  Someone who is more faithful than the rising morning sun.  So he waits with confidence knowing that he will be going home someday.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Hope placed in this world is a misplaced hope.

Where is your hope placed?

-edh-