Matthew Williams, Senior MDiv Student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Scripture

Psalm 130

1   Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
2       Lord, hear my voice!
     Let your ears be attentive
          to the voice of my supplications!
3   If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
          Lord, who could stand?
4   But there is forgiveness with you,
          so that you may be revered.
5   I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
          and in his word I hope;
6   my soul waits for the Lord
          more than those who watch for the morning,
          more than those who watch for the morning.
7   O Israel, hope in the LORD!
          For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
          and with him is great power to redeem.
8   It is he who will redeem Israel
          from all its iniquities.

Devotional

Last October I preached on Reformation Sunday from Psalm 130. It seemed to be an appropriate passage that demonstrated God’s faithfulness to the Church throughout history, as well as continuity to the Lord’s work. However, this scripture communicates something in a different light as we now encounter the season of Advent. As a prayer of lamentation and an address that is ordered out of abysmal circumstances, the text narratives hope to those drowning in the tumultuous waves of life. Advent can often feel like we are just naively whistling in the dark, while the sea consumes us. But just as the Psalmist waits and anticipates God’s promise, Advent teaches us the extraordinary thing that when everything seems to reel in the undercurrent of the waters, Resurrection and Life come piercing through the storm, or perhaps just in the form of baby lying in a manger in Bethlehem.

Prayer

Father in heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love and grace, and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in grace, that the dawn of his coming may find us rejoicing in his presence and welcoming the light of his truth. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.