It’s staying dark longer these days as we move deeper into the autumn season, so in the morning I often look out the window hearing the words from Psalm 130: My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn from inside me. Today, when appointments did call me to rise in the dark, Psalm 130 appeared in the daily lectionary. Often, especially when the psalm of the day is long, only part of it is used in the liturgy. I knew something was missing from this psalm of only 8 verses. (One gets used to the cadences after 50 years of reciting prayers.) I went to my Bible and there it was; they had left out my favorite verse! To compensate for the oversight, I read all my alternate translations of the psalm and found, among the similar texts, two vivid versions that read as follows.
1. My whole being waits for you, my God, listening for your presence. I long to hear your voice again, speaking. So like a watchman who anticipates the crack of dawn, my heart waits for the first-light of your word.
2. I wait for You, my soul waits, and in your Word I hope. My soul awaits the Beloved as one awaits the birth of a child or as one awaits the fulfillment of their destiny.
Despite the diversity and meaningfulness of those words, the unfolding of the coming of light (now complete outside my window) makes me know I’ll keep my traditional words of welcome that repeat and continue: More than sentinels for the dawn, let my soul wait for the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.