Waiting on the Lord: Ash Wednesday

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.  

-Psalm 130:5-6

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer prescribes Psalm 130 (among others) to be read on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This Psalm describes waiting for the Lord, a pervasive theme through the season of Lent as we wait for Easter. But what does it mean to continue to wait after Jesus has already performed His sacrificial work?

In the watchmen waiting for the morning, we see diligent soldiers fighting against their own weakness to guard their camp from the dangers of the night. The arrival of morning would mean that the dangers of the night had passed and the watchman could finally rest. As Christians, we have faith that the morning has come because Jesus has already done the work for our salvation. Christians can rest assured that there is nothing that needs to be added.

However, in some ways it is still the dangerous night. Though ultimate victory is assured, we still fight daily battles. We are called to guard our hearts diligently as a watchman keeping a keen eye for wild beasts, bandits or enemies in the night. Paul describes this as keeping in step with the Spirit in Galatians 5. This task might seem daunting, but there is good news. Like the watchman can wake the camp if danger does approach, we are backed by the Holy Spirit who aids us in our diligent waiting for the age to come.

Almighty God, we thank You for the rest that You give us in the work of Your Son Jesus. We ask that You preserve us and help us to walk according to Your will as we wait for His coming. We ask this for the glory of Jesus’s name. Amen.

Passages for Further Reading:

Psalm 130, Galatians 5

About the Author:

Walker Haynes is a senior at the University of Chicago. He is a staff writer for Cana, a Cru and FCA leader, and an assistant coach for the football team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *