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Read Psalm 32

from Kenneth Hardway, Wheeling First Christian Church, and Associate Regional Minister for Youth and Young Adults

“Happy Lent!” It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. Is there anything happy about the confession of our sin? Yet the Psalmist declares the joy of one whose sin is covered over! Happiness in giving our sin over to God. Life, this happy life the Psalmist shares in, is freed to blossom with the liberation from guilt.

Have you ever lived with a secret? A darkness that you were too ashamed to admit, yet one you cannot forget? It travels with you. It haunts you. It eats at you. It keeps you down and robs you of the simple gifts of joy, laugher, and love. This is death.

Have you ever admitted your fault, only to have someone constantly remind you of it? Bring it up when they need to manipulate you and keep you in your place? This, too, is death. Death is not of God.

In God, death is defeated. Guilt is destroyed. Sin is removed, and joy conquers despair. Happy are those who confess. The soul is spared from devastating floods. Shelter is given in the chaos of the storms. The weight of sin and death is lifted. The shackles are shattered and life is set free.

Forgive us and heal us, O God, to life fulfilled and blossomed in ways unimaginable to us now. Amen.