Reading: “I am a worm, and no man.”—Psalm 22:6
O eternal, everlasting God, who have once more enlightened my eyes and allowed me not to sleep the sleep of death, bestow upon me this day the riches of Your grace and love. Morning after morning is dawning upon me with new tokens of Your mercy. Oh, may these be bringing me nearer the glorious day which is to know no night, that eternal noon-tide when all shadows and darkness are forever to flee away!
Lord, I am unworthy to come into Your presence, and yet I have to mourn that I do not feel this deep unworthiness as I ought. I am unwilling to see into the unknown depths of my sin. I do not know myself. I have no depressing consciousness of the desperate wickedness of my own evil heart. I have buried many past transgressions in oblivion. I have deluded myself with the thought that many were too trivial and unimportant to incur Your disapproval. Even any imperfect good which Your grace has enabled me to perform, I have been too prone to take the merit to myself instead of ascribing all the praise to You. There has been pride in my humility. There have been mingled motives in my best services. My best resolutions have been fitful and transient. My purest and most unselfish actions could not stand the scrutiny of Your eye. The holiest day I ever spent, were I to be judged by it, would condemn me.
O You who “searches Jerusalem with lighted candles,” “search my heart.” Bring me to the publican’s place of penitential sorrow, exclaiming, in self-renouncing humility, “God be merciful to me a sinner!”.
Adapted from the Rev. John McDuff, D.D., The Morning Watches, 1852.