We all too often hide our emotions from God, from ourselves, and especially from those at church. We all wear ridiculous masks that nobody believes are real, yet out of politeness we never question them. The smiles, the pricey cars, the well-mannered kids… all of these are masks used to hide the truth that we doubt, and hurt, and are angry and afraid. If we were to really be ourselves, to show and express our emotions to one another, we fear we would be labeled and judged, when in reality we may be welcomed as authentic.
This is why Ps. 130 is my favorite Psalm. It begins with true emotion (“Out of the depths do I cry out to you, O Lord.”) and then goes on to express the gospel anyway. It acknowledges life’s pain and allows us to be there and stay there if we wish. How many of us have not gone to church, to prayer, or to each other from within the very depths of life, only to hide it and wear the mask of Perfection?
The gospel spoken in this beautiful poem is simple but profound:
“If you, Lord, kept track of our sins, who could stand before you? Nobody. But with You there is mercy and forgiveness and because of these, You don’t keep track of our sins or hold them against us! Because of this, we can serve you with free and forgiven hearts!”
And then comes the call to others:
“People of God, you’re putting your hope in the wrong things. Put your hope in God, for only there will you find love and redemption that is eternal instead of fleeting like the world’s love. You see, God will redeem His people from their sins.”
This is the gospel truth, spoken from a place of true emotion and promising truth in a world that knows only lies.