Dear Church family,
Have you ever wondered why we pray about our sins every single Sunday? It can seem a like a gloomy thing to do, even an unhelpful exercise in self hatred and wallowing. But that is not why we confess our sins together each week. We confess our sins to be honest before God, to be honest with one another. We do it to show one another and the world that we can be courageous. That’s how preacher and professor Tom Long puts it in his book Testimony. He writes, “What is required in confession of sin? First, there is the courage of memory. In the face of destructiveness and cruelty, especially our own, the tendency is to hide the truth, even from ourselves…When Christians confess their sins, they are modeling ways of courageous memory.”
I could say we’ve witnessed a heck of a week of “truth dodging” but that would not be true. Any week we chose would be such a week, not just this one! We watch as leaders say “I cannot recall” or even “I plead the 5th.” We have friends who tell us, “I don’t remember ever doing that to you.” We have family who refuse to confess they might have ever hurt or wronged us. When we are brave enough to not only acknowledge our sin but to confess it, we are saying to the world that, as Christians, we have more courage than fear. We are witnesses to others that we trust in the grace and mercy of God and that that is more important to us than any judgment we experience for what we have done; that the grace and mercy of God define who we are far more than our sin does. It is not just our opportunity to experience forgiveness. It is our opportunity to point to the truth of God and his ongoing reconciling work in this world.
That is why we pray about our sins every single Sunday.
May Christ’s grace fill you this day,