Psalm 143:5-6, 10-11 - The Antiphon for this coming Sunday is from Psalm 143:1: “Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my pleas for mercy! In Your faithfulness answer me, in Your righteousness!” David calls for deliverance from his enemies and for divine leading. As Luther directs us to pray in the morning and evening “…into Thy hands I commend myself…”
The hymn writer reminds us, “I need Thy presence every passing hour, what but The grace foil the tempter’s power?” Without the grace and presence of Christ we stand powerless. Of ourselves we cannot stand alone when battling temptation of any kind.
This runs contrary to our American culture which prides itself in rugged individualism. We treasure success stories of those who pulled themselves up by the bootstraps, and made a name for themselves by shear grit and determination. Not so when it comes to our salvation. Here we trust in the merits of Christ and Christ alone. The Psalmist drives home the point that we are powerless against sin and its cunning.
With the psalmist we plead for mercy. We trust in Christ’s righteousness, and in His name, not our own.
O Lord, I confess that I am sinful and unclean. By Your Steadfast love take away from me every shred of pride and self-righteousness. Trusting in Your grace, I come before You not in my own righteousness, but clothed in Jesus’ righteousness. Amen
Collect for Psalm 143: Lord Jesus, you bring the first light of dawn to those who dwell in darkness and make your love known to them. Enter not into judgment against your servants, but let your Spirit guide us into the land of justice, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and forever. Amen
 Lutheran Study Bible © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
 Collect for Psalm 143, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book for and By the Church, © 1995 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau Delhi, NY
The Crucifixion, Woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). copyright © WLS for personal and congregational use