Can we take sin seriously, that we may rejoice in being forgiven of it?
Devotional?Discussion Thought of the Day:
1 That is why we must hold on all the more firmly to the truths we have heard, so that we will not be carried away. 2 The message given to our ancestors by the angels was shown to be true, and those who did not follow it or obey it received the punishment they deserved. 3 How, then, shall we escape if we pay no attention to such a great salvation? The Lord himself first announced this salvation, and those who heard him proved to us that it is true. 4 At the same time God added his witness to theirs by performing all kinds of miracles and wonders and by distributing the gifts of the Holy Spirit according to his will. Hebrews 2:1-4 (TEV)
Domine!—“Lord!” Si vis, potes me mundare.—“If you will, you can make me clean.” What a beautiful prayer for you to say often, with the faith of the poor leper, when there happens to you what God and you and I know may happen. You won’t have to wait long to hear the Master’s reply: Volo, mundare!—“I will! Be made clean!” (1)
In Sunday’s sermon and in Sunday School where we took the passage a bit deeper – we heard Solomon’s words about prayer – and the primary use of the temple. It was that God would hear the words of believers (and unbelievers – but a different answer there) and when He hears them….
We talked of how powerful that forgiveness was – that as Christians we need the assurance that God will not abandon our souls in sin, that He will forgive, that He will call us back, that His desire is to be with us.
Yet it is amazing, how like little kids, we can’t take that forgiveness seriously, we don’t rejoice in absolution like we should. We ( and I mean the church – Lutheran, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox ) don’t take advantage of private confession anymore – something Luther saw coming and dreaded!
The reason is, I believe, that we don’t take sin seriously anymore. We make take this sin or that seriously (watch the explosion over the recent election of a practicing homosexual in the ELCA as a BIshop) but will we take our own sins, the ones we commit, seriously. Or will we like act like little children and say,
1. “I didn’t know!” Somehow thinking that if we claim ignorance, we will be justified. Or
2. “It’s not fair/right” Somehow we think of God as some great kill-joy, a God who takes pleasure in making sure we don’t enjoy life, or get what “we need” from it.
3. “It’s their fault” How often do we try to find someone else to blame, some other sin that is worse, some other thing that would distract God from our sin, so that we could continue to enjoy it.
Why not just go – yeah – I sinned – and God please – please forgive me….
And hear His love pour out through the words, “Yes my child….”
Can’t we just cry out as St. Josemaria encourages us to pray, “Lord, make me clean!” and trust in His answer… “I will – be made clean!”
What joy there would be, if we took sin seriously – that we might hear that we are forgiven!
So my friends – no matter what the sin, (see the list below (2) let us rush to our Father, asking Him to revive and restore us in faith! If you struggle – even if you don’t – run to your pastor, your priest – and cofness your sins… and find yourselves healed. And then rejoice – like there is a tomorrow – walking always with God!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 463-466). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
(2) Romans 1:24-32 (NLT) 24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. 28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
Posted on June 3, 2013, in Devotions and tagged absolution, confession, God, Holy Spirit, Lord, private confession, sacrament of reconciliation, sin, St. Josemaria Escriva, Thought. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.