God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.
~ Psalm 103 – as render by The Message
The evening Psalm in today’s Daily Office is a word of great reassurance indeed. “God is sheer mercy and grace!” WOW! How many of us have been programmed to see God as a judge? We spend much of our lives cowering below the judgements of others, many of them professing to know the mind of God. And here comes the psalmist declaring proudly that God is rich in love, not easily angered, who doesn’t nag and scold. A God who does not hold grudges.
On this first Sunday of Lent, let us be mindful that we loved by a God who has far removed us from our sins, a God who knows us inside out. We have a God who IS sheer mercy and grace. We have a God whose love is ever and always.
So if you are feeling the weight of another’s judgement, if you are suffering the pain of being your own worst critic, if you are feeling that you cannot measure up…. I have a prescription for you – Read Psalm 103. Read Psalm 103, hear the words of love and reassurance found in there. Hear them, feel them, and let them fill your soul — repeat as necessary — as often as possible – you will not overdose —- it’s good medicine.