Psalm 130 (De profundis)
Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice;
let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.
If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss,
O Lord, who could stand?
For there is forgiveness with you;
therefore you shall be feared.
I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him;
in his word is my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord,
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, wait for the Lord,
for with the Lord there is mercy;
With him there is plenteous redemption,
and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.
From Latin, de profundis translates to “out of the deep” or “out of the depths.” It’s a psalm that has been adapted and re-imagined through music, prose, theater, and poetry in beautiful, complex, and tragic ways:
- J.S. Bach—Cantata BWV 131: Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir (translation: Out of the depths I cry, Lord, to you)
- Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis (written while in jail)
- The Psalm from Man of La Mancha
- Georg Trakl’s De Profundis
While there are themes of despair in Psalm 130 and these other adaptations, there is also great opportunity for consolation—for turning and for growth—and, importantly, for assurance that God is with us and among us.
I imagine we are all digging deep each day during this extraordinarily fluid time—literally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. We are continuing to adapt, determine new routines, and find a sense of normalcy. Across the next two weeks (i.e. for the rest of Lent), give yourself grace in the trenches to learn, grow, and pivot where needed. In doing so, my hope is that we don’t have to cry out too loudly, for God is closer to us than we realize.
Appointed readings for today: