“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.” (Psalm 25:1-2 )
To lift up our souls to God is to confess: On you, O Lord, we depend; in you we trust, on you we wait and in you we take refuge. O Lord, unless you bless us, we perish. To lift up our souls to God sets us apart from all who lift up their souls to idols, who look for happiness and refuge from dread in their own wisdom or strength or riches. We lift up our souls not to these vanities, but to you, O Lord, because you are the center of life. You are the great King over all; you are the creator of all things. This very cosmos that can so astonish us is the robe of glory with which you have clothed yourself. You are good and very great.
We lift up our souls to you. From this foundational stance spring two requests. The first is that we not be put to shame. We ask that God not abandon us, leave us disgraced, lost, but that instead he prize us and remain always committed to our future for the sake of his name. Our second request is that we be shown the Lord’s ways. We plead not only for mercy but for power and wisdom to live holy lives. If the first request asks God to stay with us and be committed to our future, the second request asks that we stay with God and remain committed to his future.
Lord, as we look back on an old year and anticipate a new one, may we look to you at all times to uphold us and make us strong, that we not go down to defeat. In Jesus, Amen.