It can be hard to hear that the psalmist does not see anyone who has done any good. No, not one! Surely there are some among us who have it together. Surely some of us are wise, do good and know God. It is a harsh condemnation to hear that we are all failures.
But as Lutherans we shouldn’t feel condemned by this statement. We have been taught from early on that all have sinned and all fall short. In fact, the realization that no one is good, no one is wise and no one truly knows God should be a comfort. It should be a comfort because we are relieved from the burden of having to achieve faith on our own. We realize that God alone is the one restoring our fortunes; God alone is the one who makes us whole and righteous.
And because God is doing this work for us, we are free to love. To love God and love our neighbour. We are free to love without having to achieve goodness on our own.
We fall short, but you, O God, do what we cannot. You are good and you free us to love. Amen. — EP