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Psalm 51

The Utter Mercy of God


Refrain: Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Enfold me in your love, dear God.
yet pierce my heart with your mercy.
In the cascading of your compassion
scour away all that offends.
Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness,
and cleanse me from my sin.

Refrain: Create in me a clean heart, O God,


and renew a right spirit within me.
My failures weigh heavy on my heart.
my sin confronts me at the turning of the road.
Against you alone have I sinned, my Beloved,
doing what is evil and causing more harm.
In the eyes of my victims your judgment is clear:
there is nothing I can claim in your presence.

Refrain: Create in me a clean heart, O God,


and renew a right spirit within me.
I was formed in the midst of a world gone wrong,
from the moment of my conceiving I breathed my
ancestors sin.
The truths to which I am blind are hidden so deep,
so secretly:
bring the light of your wisdom to the depths of my
heart.

Refrain: Create in me a clean heart, O God,


and renew a right spirit within me.
Bathe me in water that is fresh from the spring,
wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear of joy and gladness,
that the bones which you have broken may dance
again.
Turn your face from my twists and deceits,
blot out all my misdeeds.

Refrain: Create in me a clean heart, O God,


and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Give me the comfort of your help again,
and strengthen me with your courage and hope.

Refrain: Create in me a clean heart, O God,


and renew a right spirit within me.
Then I shall teach your ways to those around me,
and others will be converted to your path.
Deliver us all from guilt of bloodshed, O God,
for you are the God of the world that is coming.
In health and truth we shall sing of your justice.
When you open my lips, O God,
my mouth shall sing of your praise.

Refrain: Create in me a clean heart, O God,


and renew a right spirit within me.
For you desire no animal sacrifices,
no formal gifts out of mere duty.
You do not delight in burnt offerings,
nothing from our wealth can buy your favour.
The sacrifice you ask is a troubled spirit;
it is my pride that must yield.

Refrain: Create in me a clean heart, O God,


and renew a right spirit within me.
My broken and contrite heart I bring,
so foolish, self-centred, and vain;
and yet it is all that I have.
Even this gift you will not despise,
for I hear again that you yearn for me,
with a love I can barely imagine.

Refrain: Create in me a clean heart, O God,


and renew a right spirit within me.
So do I give you the whole of myself.
dependent as I am on the gift of your mercy.
So may my giving to others
be free of the motives of power,
gifts that overwhelm or appease.
May my heart be spontaneously giving,
spreading delight and mutual embrace.
Such is the way of the City of Peace,
whose walls you call us to build.

Refrain: Create in me a clean heart, O God,


and renew a right spirit within me.
Take us to yourself, Compassionate God, we who
hurt so much in the depths of our being, caught
up in the pain of life, and so often inflicting yet
more on to others; embrace us with the hands
that show still the mark of nails, your love
swallowing up all our sin and pride. So we pray
that broken bones may joy, in the dance of Jesus
our Redeemer.