JUNE 12

Read | Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us

    and make his face shine on us—

so that your ways may be known on earth,

    your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, God;

    may all the peoples praise you.

May the nations be glad and sing for joy,

    for you rule the peoples with equity

    and guide the nations of the earth.

May the peoples praise you, God;

    may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest;

    God, our God, blesses us.

May God bless us still,

    so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Respond | Tom Dearduff

May God be gracious to us and bless us. We are inherently good at making all kinds of mistakes. It may be easy for us to forgive ourselves for the little things, like spilling a cup of coffee or showing up five minutes late to a Zoom call. But we struggle severely with forgiving ourselves of our more innate brokenness; alone, we cannot forgive the injustice we directly or indirectly bring into the world — the sin that takes more than a paper towel or punctuality to correct. Fortunately, God does not see things that way, for all sin has been forgiven through the cross. Even the unshakeable sin we see in ourselves (and by which we may unjustly define ourselves) is graciously redeemed through our Shepherd, Jesus. Isaiah 1v18 says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

 

May God be gracious to us and bless us. God does not stop at making us clean, for divine grace is not a reset button. It does not undo our sin and pretend it never happened. It is not forgetful. Grace confronts our sin and nonetheless chooses to see us as beloved. God chooses to bless us while we are still sinful, so we must move forward with the hard but necessary work of making and embodying a choice: do we perpetuate sin as broken people, or do we stand against sin as blessed people? With confidence and assurance through faith, we must choose to stand in solidarity with those who have endured the systemic sin of which we are a part.

 

Holy Spirit, you have been gracious to us and blessed us. Let us go forth ignited with fire and empowered as vessels through which grace and blessing abound and injustice fades away. 

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