SPECIAL NOTE: It is Week Six in our Lenten Journey, and our attention is set on Psalm 32. As we dive into our text as we are accustomed to doing (i.e. reading, reciting, and meditating on God’s word), Let Us contemplate what it means to be blessed and to be a blessing.
THE POWER OF WORDS
There are many words we use from day to day that have become a part of the fabric of our conversations. There are words and phrases; terms and acronyms we readily, seamlessly adopt into our varied vocabularies. Rather adeptly we use the terminology of the workplace, switch to the common speech of our community when conversing with friends, and slide into “church-speak” all without missing a beat. We use the right “lingo” in the right places, but do we earnestly appreciate the weight of our words? Do we recognize the significance of what we are saying, particularly when we are speaking the language of our faith?
Allow me to unpack a few of the terms David uses in Psalm 32:1-2: transgression, sin, and iniquity. First, transgression: to transgress is to rebel, revolt, or rise-up in clear and utter defiance to authority. Next, sin: the act of sinning is to commit an offense, to violate a moral standard and in so doing, become guilty, worthy of condemnation because of it. Lastly, Iniquity: a catch-all term for sin, wickedness, wrongdoing, evildoing; coupled with the guilt or liability incurred because of what has been done.
Alone, each of these terms imposes a hefty weight. Yet, despite their combined weight, there is a weightier term, that of forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is not only a counterbalance to the burdens imposed by the aforementioned three, but it is of such great substance… such great mass that the recipients of the forgiveness are raised up: they are blessed! To be blessed is to experience happiness, good fortune, to be in a joyful and joyous mental, emotional, and psycho-spiritual state: it is to be uplifted to the degree that one experiences power, strengthening, and divine enablement. This is what David is saying when he uses the word blessed.
Today, I want you to be blessed. Let Us confess our sins, transgressions, and iniquities to the Lord God. Then, Let Us receive the forgiveness and the blessings that the Lord is desirous of pouring out on each of us. Lastly, Let Us go forward in that same strength, by both being and extending the blessings we have received.