Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.
New Revised Standard Version
Most Mississippians, because we live at the right latitude to notice, know that daylight has increased significantly since the winter solstice – the longest night of the year – passed just before Christmas.
Seeing lingering light, even if just a hint, at 6 p.m. and after on the western horizon tells us all that the season is advancing and in just a little more than a month will become spring, the vernal equinox, astronomically speaking.
Light is important in the story of human beings. The sun has been and remains an object of worship in some cultures, light and life and warmth as predictable as a clock or a sundial or an even ancient astronomical calendar.
Then there’s the symbolism of spiritual light, played out in Christian faith as the light of the world, as Jesus Christ is often described.
However, the Christian journey toward the ultimate light also involves acknowledging that darkness is part of being human – in behavior, outlook and attitude.
The season to work through that spiritual darkness and move toward light is called Lent in the liturgical calendar, and for Christians of Western churches it begins Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, and the goal is Easter, March 31.
The writer of Psalm 130 knew the faithfulness of God – the I Am of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, and made human in Jesus.
Like people afraid of what literal darkness holds, the Lenten journey leads to light that overwhelms inner darkness, fear, self-loathing and self-centeredness.
The psalmist urges us to wait for God, to wait for God fervently with faith that God alone is the redeemer of our lives.
As many Christians sang only weeks ago during Christmas, “... light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings ....”