My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.
Rosetti in her great carol asks what can she bring the Christchild? Having nothing else she says she will give her heart. Here the Psalmist, writing centuries before Jesus’ birth, arrives at the same conclusion when wondering what God wants.
In the previous verses he dismisses animal sacrifices and burnt offerings, and now he arrives at what God wants, and brings what he has; a heart that is broken, but also a spirit that is contrite, and he realises that he needs God’s help. That is what God really wants from us; an admission that perhaps we can struggle on on our own, but with him the sky is the limit if we go with him.
Lord God our loving Father in Heaven hear our cries to you. We are frail and weak, we are confused and afraid. We have nothing we can bring you except our brokenness and our desire to walk closer to you, so accept what we can bring, in your mercy, and lead us to the peace that comes in your presence for all with a contrite heart.
In your Mercy hear our prayer.