Be Part of the Solution (May 10, 2012)

…Opening To…

The purpose of the worship of God is to help us see our dependence on God and the vast resources that God wants to lavish on our lives. (Ian S. Markham)

…Listening In…

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 loved 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. (The Confession Sin)

…Filling Up…

Our seventh moment follows on the heels of our sixth, the Prayers of the People. The seventh moment is the Confession of Sin. Its location is no accident in the service of Holy Eucharist. We confess our sins very soon before we take communion. This gives us an opportunity to examine our consciences, ask for and accept forgiveness from God, and then take in the nourishment offered through Communion so that we can be strengthened to follow Christ more closely in our lives.

The Confession comes right after the Prayers of the People because the prayers can help us see where we have fallen short, where we have missed the mark, where we have separated ourselves from God. The Confession of Sin and the Absolution proclaimed on God’s behalf by the priest reconcile us to God, repairing the relationship that we have let slip but which God never abandons.

But there’s something more to the Confession of Sin. Notice in the words above that the Confession is entirely plural. When we confess during the service, we confess as a group. We confess our complicity in all of the big sins of the world that we are part of simply because we exist in a system that is broken. We may not be able right away to break out of that system, but by confessing our complicity we show our desire to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. The reconciliation that happens through the Confession and Absolution reconnects us to God, who is the source of the solution. Thus, we are able to pull ourselves just a little bit more out of the muck of the broken system of this world.

The more we confess this corporate sin, the more readily are we able to see the brokenness in the system for what it consists of – injustice, domination, disparity, fear, apathy. Why would we want to be part of that?

…Praying For…

Dear God, help me to look at the world through your eyes so that I can see a place of beauty that is scarred by humanity’s brokenness, of which I am a part; and then help me to break free of the system so that I can join you as part of the solution. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, glad to have the opportunity to worship you freely and to bring my weekend worship into my weekday life.

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