The Psalter of Jesus: An Insecure Prayer // Psalm 69

I scrupulously hide every legitimate reason for people to hate me, and it turns out they don’t need legitimate reasons.
— Rachel Hartman in her novel Seraphina

All people are stamped with the divine image and capable of much beauty. But we are also twisted, broken and tied up in knots within ourselves. And this brokenness haunts us. We want so badly to be rid of it that we cover it over with an artificial version of ourselves, an imposter who masquerades as the righteous hero we all wish to be. For those who wear the mask well, the broken soul within is left to sink deeper into insecurity and fear. Who would love me, we wonder, if my greatest flaws were known? Who could embrace such a ruinous person as me? In Psalm 69, the ancient King David is horrified to discover that even his best imposter has failed to secure the love and embrace of those around him. All his acts of righteousness have yielded nothing but reproach. His image now a tattered mess, he is left with only the insecure and weary self that he had sought so fiercely to be rid of. Yet it is that very needy person who discovers the care of God, a tender mercy no mask could provide.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Oh Church, be still;
the Lord’s love is steadfast.

Oh church, find rest;
He hears our needy cries.

Oh church, remember;
He has always been faithful.

Oh church, look up;
He is a suffering savior.

Oh church, sing with hope.
We sing, confident in you.

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Lord, we are uncertain, unsure, unable to gain a foothold, and exhausted from trying.
We have forgotten our blessed assurance in you. 
Forgive us, Jesus: we are weak. Let us find rest in you.

In our striving for stability we have added insult to injury.
We mock your ways and boast of our own wisdom.
Forgive us, Jesus: we are weak. Let us depend on you.

We have become entrapped in the food and drink, the shelter and clothing, the paychecks and prosperity that you have given us.
We are wary of whatever threatens our wealth: we have forgotten your care for the birds and the lilies. Forgive us, Jesus: we are weak. Let us trust in you.

We are slow to trust the depth of your suffering and the abundance of your life.
We do not believe that very God could be very man, drawing near and bearing the weight of humanity. Forgive us, Jesus: we are weak. Let us lean on you.

Jesus, for all we are too weak to carry, you are able to bear the weight. Grow us up into you, that we would learn to work and rest in your strong life.
Christ, have mercy on us. It is only by your love and obedience that we dwell in safety.  

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