“Our greatest need and God’s greatest gift are the same thing: forgiveness of sins. And to receive it, we have only to ask and pass it on. But to ask for it, we must first admit that we need it.”Pete Grieg, How to Pray, p.170
The brokenness of our world has a source. It is our sin–my personal sin against God and my neighbor and the communal sin that spirals through our families and communities from one generation to the next. The only antidote for this problem is repentance and reconciliation, two of the most difficult of spiritual disciplines.
The older I get the more I understand that the root of all evil is not money, but rather pride. Our pride is often manifest in our ability to rationalize our sinful actions. In our minds, we assume the role of lawyer and judge to litigate our innocence, when God is the true and only judge. Repentance requires the humility to recognize that when I sin against another person, it is more than an offense to God, it is an assault upon God’s beloved–the one he willingly sacrificed himself for.
Let our prayers today bloom from the soil of a humble spirit, confessing our complicity in the world’s darkness. Repentance is difficult, but it also beautiful. For it is in this place that the deep and wondrous mercy of God is released into our lives and from us into the world.
- Psalm 38
- Exodus 20:1-17
- Mark 12:29-31
- 1 John 1:8-9
- Hebrews 4:14, 16
“Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you, in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not love our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.” Book of Common Prayer