This week’s Lent theme is ‘sacrificing’. ‘Sacrifice’ is a word laden with preconceived ideas, but it is at the heart of the Christian faith. A sacrificial life, says Sally Welch, ‘is one which offers to God all the trials as well as the joys, all the challenges as well as the triumphs – accepting life in all its fullness and praising God throughout.’ (‘Sharing The Easter Story’, P 133) In today’s passage, Psalm 51, David speaks about the sacrifice of a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. He recognises his own sin and prays for forgiveness and restoration in this psalm, understanding that it is the heart attitude which matters more than outward conformity to religious rituals. Only when the heart is at peace with God can we live the way He wants us to.
This kind of brokenness over our sin and the sin of the world does not appeal to us, naturally speaking. But brokenness is the place where something new can be built up.