How lonely do any of us sit-not only an entire city, but individuals as well-when we have faced terrible loss or tragedy? It could be the catastrophe that befell us was of our own making. Sitting is the posture of one who mourns; we mourn something that is lost and weep into the night. The night is a time of sleep, rest, respite; but none of these things come to console us.
Martin Luther directed us back to the scriptures, where we read that the only really truly acceptable offering to God is a broken and contrite heart. When the evil one presents us with a list of our sins, Luther thought we could respond with another list of the sins he overlooked. Our broken and contrite heart knows our shortcomings and teaches us that we can never receive the grace of God by deeds we generate on our own to please God; we are totally reliant on the grace of God and on the grace of God alone.
Thanks be to you, O God, for your forgiveness and acceptance of us even when we feel we're drowning in sin. Amen. — LI