I’m the youngest of four kids in my family of origin. It’s interesting to me that older siblings always seem to think that the youngest got spoiled growing up. Um, let me set the record straight. In addition to continually being the smallest and getting pounded on by the others; getting blamed for every broken thing in the house; and, being left behind on all the good stuff taking place – at school was probably the worst. You see, the youngest constantly gets compared to his/her older siblings. I, in particular, had the distinction of having a sister who was valedictorian of her class, and a brother who was probably the best well-behaved kid in the entire school. Oh, great. The expectations for me were pretty high.
The psalmist in today’s psalm did not want to be associated with what his ancestors did or did not do. He wanted to be judged by God on his own merits. He cries to God, “Have pity and come quickly! We are completely helpless. Our God, you keep us safe. Now help us! Rescue us. Forgive our sins and bring honor to yourself.”
Not only would that make an apropos prayer for a youngest kid, it is a real and raw expression that all of us can utter when we are in times of distress – where what others have done or not done in the past are impacting your life today. In any kind of situation, the psalms are the church’s prayer book – for any kind of sibling.
God of justice, you do what is right and just in all things. Look upon your servant today and help me according to your grace and steadfast love. Forgive all my sin and lead me in the way of your righteousness, through Jesus Christ my Savior. Amen.