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Happy New Year!  We are only 8 days into the New Year, but some of the excitement is beginning to go away.  Instead of excitement, we may just be tired and recovering from the end of 2021.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to start 2022 without the burdens of the things that happened in 2021?  This is hard, isn’t it? In fact, most people are carrying around burdens in their lives that happened long before 2021.  Many lives are weighed down more than ever by the burden of their past.  Fear, regret, hurt, anger, and rejection are only part of an inexhaustible list of burdens that continue dragging us down, despite the fresh start of a New Year.  In our sermon series, The Joy of the Lord is our Strength, we turn to Psalm 51:7-19.  These words are beautiful and powerful.  This entire Psalm is David’s confession and prayer after he has been set free from the burden of a terrible past that involved adultery, manipulation, misuse of power, and murder.   How does anyone come back from such a terrible list of sins?  How does anyone find the light in such darkness?  In the sermon Soul Renovation, we find that joy is not only a gift, but a product of God’s forgiveness in our lives.  God wants to take our regret-filled souls, and turn them to rejoicing!  God did it for David and he is able to do it for us!  As you read Psalm 51:7-19, it is our prayer that you will sense the unseen hand of God lifting the weight of your brokenness and lifting you into joy through the grace he gave us in Jesus Christ.  Psalm 51:7-19: 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. 18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.  (NIV)