God of compassion, you know how we rebel against you. You know how we doubt
and fear and hold back, when you call us to freedom and to partnership in Jesus Christ. God forgive us. Free us by the power of the cross, that we may serve you without fear.
Grant us your peace through Jesus Christ who was faithful to the end. Amen.
I have gotten it wrong. I… Rev. Pastor Keith have done what was not pleasing in God’s eyes. We have gotten it wrong. We… each and every one of us reading these words and each and every person we will pass on our way to the grocery store have done or thought or did something that was not pleasing in God’s sight. It is difficult to admit all of us stray from God’s path, but we do. We aren’t God! The “churchy” word we use for straying off the path is sin.
Lent can sometimes get a negative reputation. It’s viewed as the season in our faith when we give things up, we prepare for the worst, and we confront the worst in us. However, I cannot help but imagine that God wants more for us than just six weeks of discipline or six weeks without chocolate. I cannot help but imagine that God wants a life for us so expansive that faith, joy, and hope flow over the edges. So let us confess, not because we have to suffer our way through Lent, but because the truth moves us one step closer to that expansive faith.
One spiritual writer put it this way. He was visiting an old village that had a creek flowing through it. As he sat watching the bustle of the day, he noticed a small group of people go down to the creek who began removing large branches and rocks that had piled up due to a recent flood. The debris made it difficult for the water to flow and even destructive if it overflowed the banks. As they removed the rocks and tree branches, the writer pondered relationships and the barriers that keep it from flowing.
All of our relationships need this annual cleanup. Floods change the landscape and we need to tend to them. Our relationship with God works the same way. When we do the difficult work of confessing and reflecting, we make it possible for God’s grace to flow over us, washing us with what leads to wholeness and peace.
What are the rocks that need removing in your life?
If you can’t think of any, I invite you to pause to ask or listen to what God has to say.
If you need words, the psalmist who wrote the lyrics to Psalm 139 may have some for you…
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and when you discover what does not belong,
remove it from me and lead me in the
the way to everlasting life. Amen.
Blessings for your journey,
Rev. Keith McDevitt