The Psalter of Jesus: Resigned to True Life // Psalm 39

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.

— Henry David Thoreau

In our zeal to forge the good life apart from God, we trample one another and we trample ourselves. Our strivings to build wealth and carve out easy living often come at the expense of noticing what really matters. We don't see how much destruction we are leaving in our wake. But there are moments when the horrible reality of our broken hearts and our broken world insists on being known -- moments when God removes the veil and shows us ourselves. These are desperate moments. And the only faithful act when confronted with our desperate condition is to give up. This is where the Spirit leads us, to give up on trusting our judgments, to give up on leaning into our strengths, to give up on believing in our goodness. He leads us to resignation, to letting go of the false life we have propped up with cardboard and duct tape. And when the fraud crumbles, we discover that there in the rubble of our failures, a sure and true life awaits us. Because it is there, in the scrap heap of humiliation, that a sure and true savior has come to meet us.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Children of God, cease your striving for God bids you come and rest.
Our Father sees our tireless efforts to make something of ourselves, and has had pity on us!

God is your good Father. He bids you come and rest!
Our God alone is the author of all good things.

Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. But your Father in heaven reigns securely. He accomplishes all he sets out to do, and His work is your salvation and restoration!
Our hope is in God alone. Let us come to him in our weakness.

Come to the Lord, and rejoice! He has done great things!
In our brokenness we come before him, our Salvation and our Refuge!

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

We come to you broken, some of us keenly aware of the rubble of our lives, and some of us puffed up, still inclined to find a way for ourselves.
Forgive us for our prideful and vain strivings, Lord, and show us what is true.

Far from bringing ease and pleasure to ourselves and others, we have trampled others to pave the way for our own accomplishments.
Give us eyes to see our weakness and inability. Surely our lives are like vapor.

We imagine that we can control our lives as our own kingdoms, building up our status, our comfort, our security, or our worthiness.
Lord, you alone are capable of being a good King to us, our families, our communities, and the whole world.

Our best efforts have failed to improve the world or even our own lives, yet we have persisted in hoping that if we could muster more strength, it might save us.
We confess that our hope has been in the work of our own hands, and not in you Lord.

But, now Lord, what do we look for?
Spirit, show us the way to our Father’s loving arms, for God is our only hope in life and in death.

Grant us faith to see the goodness and mercy of our smallness and your greatness, Lord.
Our lives are as vapor, but our hope is in our Lord Jesus.

What a marvelous hope we have in you, the author of salvation!
We rejoice in your salvation! We can make nothing of ourselves, Father, but you offer us something better. May we be swept up into you and forever enjoy the abundant life of Jesus!

- authored by Erin Bourne