The Psalter of Jesus: The Good of Longing // Psalm 13

Discontent with this world gives such a painful longing to quit it that, if the heart finds comfort, it is solely from the thought that God wishes it to remain here in banishment.
— Saint Teresa of Avila

Invariably, the turn of the year highlights human longing. What are New Year's resolutions except attempts to grab hold of some fulfillment, to satisfy our longings for slimmer frames and fatter wallets and deeper loves. These pursuits are not evil. But they also are not the highest good that our longings offer us. There are far weightier jewels to be found in the throes of longing than in the quenching of it. In truth, our longings are words from our Maker. They signal to us that this broken world is not as it should be, that we were not made to make our home amid ashes. They point us to hope beyond what we can see, to imagine relief that is not here to grasp. So pursue fitness and prosperity and romance, yes! But, more importantly, peer through those tattered goods to glimpse a new home rising from the ashes, and a Holy One bidding us come.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Answer us when we call, O God of our righteousness
You have given us relief in our distress

How long, O Lord, will you be hidden away from us?
How long, O Lord, will our yearnings go unfulfilled?

Answer us when we call, O God of our righteousness
You have given us relief in our distress

How long, O Lord will our souls anguish?
How long, O Lord, will we have sorrow in our hearts each day?

Answer us when we call, O God of our righteousness
You have given us relief in our distress

The Lord lifts his face to shine upon us.
In peace we will rest, Lord, dwelling safely in you. Amen.

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Loving Father, our hearts are heavy with woe,
and our hope so easily fades day to day.
When we stubbornly remain in our distress, forgive us.
And raise us to new life with Jesus.

When we refuse the true rest that you offer, forgive us.
And raise us to new life with Jesus.

When we prefer to cope with our pain using tired and harmful means, rescue us.
And raise us to new life with Jesus.

When we shun vulnerability at all costs and waste away, rescue us.
And raise us to new life with Jesus.

Let us lift up our sorrows to you in full,
trusting that you will hear us and restore our hope.
We will trust in your steadfast love,
rejoicing in your salvation.
We will sing to you, Lord,
because you have dealt bountifully with us.

- authored by Alec Watson