The Morning Psalm

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The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever…
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:8-12 (NIV)

Growing up in the Orthodox Christian tradition, I heard this psalm being sung many mornings and to this day it remains a great source of comfort with its tremendous power to heal and renew one’s soul.

At the end of each day I am often conscious of having “done things that I ought not to have done and also having left undone things that I ought to have done”.

Perhaps I had not begun the day with prayer and when trials came along I yielded to the flesh. Perhaps I had been impatient or judgmental or unforgiving, forgetting to be merciful to someone who needed my kindness…

How many times have I failed you, O God. Please be merciful to me, a sinner. I am grieved because I have grieved the One who loves me most and I am also sorry that other souls have been hurt by my failure.

What can I do now, O Lord? Then these words, “He will not always accuse, nor will He harbour His anger forever…” He does not keep on reminding us of our faults and failings. For this reason we may live free of guilt and condemnation.

“As far as the east is from the west…” Our past sins are so far from us that we must not live under their shadow. God Himself has established this almost infinite distance between us and our sins, that having confessed them, we may now live in the freedom and power of the new life which our Saviour has purchased for us.

Each morning then becomes a new gift from the Father. Unshackled by the failings of yesterday, we are given another chance to display Christ in this world. Let us clothe ourselves with Christ and press on, never giving up.

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