So in this moment everybody in this room has some kind of soul-posture toward God. And ultimately there are just two kinds: we either have a soul-posture of faith or a soul-posture of unbelief. You are either wanting to move toward God or you are trying to avoid him.
And I’m going to assume that because we are here, at least in a broad sense, we all have a posture of faith. We have not given up. Our souls are looking to God.
And how our souls do that looks different at different times.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
In this psalm the soul is like a watchman — which means a solider — who is standing guard all night long, desperately waiting for daylight. That is an image of faith in God.
Then, in the very next psalm, Psalm 131:2,
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Now in this psalm the soul is like a content toddler sitting comfortably in the lap of his mother. That is an image of faith in God.
Think about the two images. Both psalms are showing us the soul-posture of faith toward God —
one is a soldier holding a spear; the other is a two-year-old holding a sippy cup;
one feels the risk of his vulnerability; the other is in the bliss of security
one is weary from the waiting; the other has every single need met.
And both are faith. Both souls are looking to God, they just look different.
And as a church, our mutual understanding of these differences will make us profoundly welcoming.
Some of you this morning have souls that are tired because you’ve just been waiting and waiting and waiting for the sun to rise, and I want you to know that we want you here. We know that faith looks that way sometimes. Sometimes we rest content and satisfied, and then sometimes we are crying out from the depths.
And so church, let us be a church that welcomes both. That’s my exhortation. Here it is: Let us be the kind of gospel community that is a welcome space for souls like Psalm 130 and Psalm 131.
Prayer of Confession
Father, we ask that you meet us this morning wherever it is that we’re coming from. You see all things, and we recognize that right now that you know us so vividly. Right now, you know us exactly where we’re at, and with the same compassion you have toward us, please give us that compassion for one another. Forgive us for our failures to sympathize. Forgive us for imposing false standards on one another, and for making friends with shame. Forgive us for the things we have done, and the things we have left undone, and lead us now by your Spirit as we confess our sins to you in silence. …
Now, Father, once again we remember the truth of the gospel. Because you love us, Jesus died to set us free. We were dead, but Jesus made us alive; we were lost, but Jesus has made us found; we were your enemies, but Jesus has made us your sons and daughters — all because he lived and died for us in our place, because he is risen from dead, because he is reigning for us now and coming for us soon. And it’s in his name we pray, amen.