I will sing of loyalty and of justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing.
I will study the way that is blameless. When shall I attain it?
I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;
I will not set before my eyes anything that is base.

Psalm 101:1-3

Sonnet for Psalm 101

I  will give thanks to you when I arise,
Listen in prayer for your holy call,
Look at all this world through your loving eyes,
And be faithful to tasks both great and small.
I will strive for justice, peace, and fairness,
Seek first your will in everything I do,
Study the way that you declare blameless,
And not rest until I can rest in you.
And when I fall short, for I know I will,
Then will I ask for the gift of your grace,
Hoping your mercy will shine on me still,
And trusting your son to show me Love's face.
As each new day dawns, when I look to you,
My prayer will be that you make me new.

Psalm 101 is described as “A Sovereign’s Pledge of Integrity and Justice.” It contains a series of promises, beginning with the statement, “I will …” My sonnet echoes and personalizes these promises, but also acknowledges that I will fall short, each and every day, and will need the gift of God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. How thankful I am that God gives us these without measure, and new every morning!

So here, then, is Psalm 101, followed by other scripture passages that I had in mind when I wrote the sonnet, along with the sonnet again, followed by a closing prayer:

Psalm 101

I will sing of loyalty and of justice;
    to you, O Lord, I will sing.
I will study the way that is blameless.
    When shall I attain it?
I will walk with integrity of heart
    within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
    anything that is base.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
    it shall not cling to me.
Perverseness of heart shall be far from me;
    I will know nothing of evil.
One who secretly slanders a neighbor
    I will destroy.
A haughty look and an arrogant heart
    I will not tolerate.
I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
    so that they may live with me;
whoever walks in the way that is blameless
    shall minister to me.
No one who practices deceit
    shall remain in my house;
no one who utters lies
    shall continue in my presence.
Morning by morning I will destroy
    all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all evildoers
    from the city of the Lord.

Scripture Passages

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. – Psalm 51:10

Sonnet for Psalm 101

I  will give thanks to you when I arise,
Listen in prayer for your holy call,
Look at all this world through your loving eyes,
And be faithful to tasks both great and small.
I will strive for justice, peace, and fairness,
Seek first your will in everything I do,
Study the way that you declare blameless,
And not rest until I can rest in you.
And when I fall short, for I know I will,
Then will I ask for the gift of your grace,
Hoping your mercy will shine on me still,
And trusting your son to show me Love's face.
As each new day dawns, when I look to you,
My prayer will be that you make me new.

Closing Prayer

You have created me in your image, Lord, and blessed with me all that I will ever need. How can I help but seek the way you hold blameless, and live my life for you? But try as I might, I constantly fall short. Again and again, I need your help, and your grace. Forgive me, Lord; put a new and right spirit within me, and help me to live to your glory. Through the One who is truly blameless, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

9 thoughts on “Sonnet for Psalm 101

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