“Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.” Psalm 25:6-7
Ad Te Levavi is the traditional name for the first Sunday in Advent. It is the Latin title for the introit of the day, from Psalm 25:1: “Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.”
As we prepare for Christ’s second advent – His triumphal entry into this world as eternal King and Judge – we lift up our souls unto the LORD and pray that He would remember and look upon us in His mercy and not according to our sinfulness under His law.
We pray that the LORD God (Jehovah God) would remember His tender mercies and His lovingkindnesses which He promised from of old – to Adam and Eve in the Garden, to Abraham, to David and to all the Old Testament saints (cf. Gen. 3:15; 22:18; Ps. 51; Isa. 53; 55:1ff.).
If the LORD were to deal with us according to our sins, none of us could stand in His judgment. We would all be condemned to the everlasting torments of hell because of our sinful hearts and our sinful thoughts, desires, words and actions (cf. Psalm 130:3ff.; Matt. 15:19; Rom. 3:9ff.; Gal. 3:10).
As sinners, condemned by God’s holy law, we flee in faith to the grace and mercy of God for the sake of His Son, the Lamb of God who made atonement for the sins of the world (John. 1:29; 1 John 1:8 – 2:2; Rom. 3:19-26). We pray: “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.”
And, because Jesus Christ died for all our sins and rose again on the third day, those who look in faith to Christ and His cross for mercy are pardoned, forgiven, justified and accepted of God (cf. Rom. 3:21-26; Eph. 1:6-7; Gal. 3:13, 26-27); and they have a place in His everlasting kingdom (John 3:14-16; Mark 16:16; Rom. 5:1-10,17).
Jesus Christ is coming again! Though He entered into Jerusalem, the center of the Old Testament church, humbly and riding on a donkey nearly 2,000 years ago with some hailing Him as the promised Messiah and King and others rejecting Him, He now is coming as King of kings and Lord of lords and every knee shall bow (cf. Phil 2:9-11; Rev. 19:11-16). He will judge the living and the dead.
How do you wish to be remembered in that Day? According to your sins and many transgressions, or according to His mercy for the sake of His blood shed upon the cross for the sins of all?
“Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.”
O LORD God, our gracious Savior, do not deal with us according to our sins as we justly deserve under Your holy law, but deal with us in Your mercy and lovingkindness for the sake of the holy life and innocent sufferings and death of Christ Jesus, Your dear Son and our Redeemer. In His name, we pray. Amen.
[Scripture quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.]