Today we begin the first of four days reading from one of the most famous Psalms. Psalm 51 has traditionally been attributed to King David, writing after his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah. Whatever the circumstances of its composition may have been, it is clearly an outpouring of the depths of the author’s heart. This Psalmist expresses the stark honesty, profound regret, and intent to change that are necessary for authentic repentance. As today’s passage from Hebrews makes clear, we must come before God with honesty. Before the God for whom, “everything is uncovered and laid bare,” no other option makes sense.
Especially since Psalm 51 also sings the strong note of hope that God forgives and mends. Today’s selection from Isaiah reminds us that God is just, but “longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.” And as the reading from Hebrews assures, it is today – and every day – that we are called to be faithful to the God who saves and heals.