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  • Writer's pictureKendall Ellis

Sing to Our Redeemer

This is a sermon preview for Sunday March, 26, 2023. It is the 5th week of the Lent sermon series "Songs in the Desert."

“Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.”

- Psalm 130

Have you ever been trapped in a ditch?

With Spring Break upon us, I’m reminded of previous travels. On one service trip, I found myself in the mountains where it was a literal hike between the various buildings that made up the orphanage’s campus. Amidst stunning overlooks, I was keenly aware that many of these rocky paths had no railing or guard. At any moment, this clumsy girl could fall into a sizable ditch.

On the way to breakfast, I paused beside one of these spots and stared into the depths of the pit. I don’t know how long I’d been staring down there when a concerned voice beside me shouted, “You’re not thinking about jumping, are you?”

“On the contrary,” I smiled. “I was trying to imagine how anyone would get out of that ditch. I’d be stuck unless someone heard me yell for help.”

Thankfully I didn’t fall that week. But anyone who’s ever had to call a AAA tow truck knows that I was right: once you find yourself in a ditch, you’re stuck.

And the Psalmist knew that all too well.

While not a literal ditch, sin has a very real stronghold in this world that left the Psalmist–and us–stuck. With nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, the Psalmist has nothing to do except cry from the depths–a Hebrew word that has the connotation of teetering on the edge of death and destruction.

But the Psalmist doesn’t only cry in Psalm 130. They wait.

In a culture that is all go-go-go, waiting seems like the same thing as doing nothing. Waiting seems passive.

But in scripture, to wait on the Lord is active. Waiting is an act of defiance in the face of sin and death. When we wait, we are giving up our illusion of control and giving witness to who God is.

We can only wait because God has promised to be our redeemer. We can only wait because Jesus suffered, died, and descended into Hell–the lowest depth we could ever find ourselves in. And from that depth, Christ raises us up with him. We only wait because the hope of Christ’s cross shows us God’s great power to redeem us from the ditch.

Sometimes singing to our redeemer looks a lot like waiting.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What ditch of sin do you find yourself or your community in this Lenten season?

  2. How does Psalm 130 inspire you to cry to the Lord in prayer this week?

  3. What does it look like for you to worship God through the practice of hopeful waiting this week?


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