November 9, 2021

A Broken Heart

A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Psalm 51:17
Anything's possible, I suppose. I'm surprised every day when I see or read about something happening that I thought impossible. But one thing I can't imagine is a person presenting to God a perfect heart. "Here it is, O God. I've cast out every impurity, so I can finally present to you my own heart, free of all sinfulness."

It sounds ridiculous because it is. And yet, somehow, that's what many of us think. "I want to turn to God, but I'm just not ready. I need first to get my house in order; somebody like me will certainly be rejected." And yet, the Bible teaches us the exact opposite. Because we'll never get our house in order; because we'll never be as pure in thought, word, or deed as we think we ought, we will never be ready to hand ourselves over to God's care.

And so it is not perfect hearts that God draws to the divine Self. It is broken and sorrowful hearts that God desires and loves and cherishes. Whether it is at this moment, or tonight before I go to sleep, may that which I offer God be my heart in all its brokenness. Though I tell myself that it will be rejected, the reality is that it's the only thing that God's wanted all along.

Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
 Luke 15:21
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Most merciful God, we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For t he sake of Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and follow in your ways, to the glory of your holy Name.
 UCC Prayer of Confession
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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