Forgiveness is Bigger Than We Are
Bible Excerpt from Acts 13:32-41
Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
Reflection by Lillian Daniel
“Why do we have to do the confession every week in church? It’s such a downer.” That’s a question I hear periodically on a Sunday morning.
I’m an open-minded pastor, so I tell them we actually do not have to do it every Sunday. In fact, the first Sunday that comes up when they, and all the rest of the church members, have done nothing wrong in the last week, we can skip it. But given that I am a church member who has yet to have a week, even a day, without sin, I suspect that the prayer of confession will be with us for a while.
The prayer of confession is more than admitting what we have done wrong, or what we have left undone. It is also when we receive forgiveness. Anyone who thinks this moment is a downer is not paying attention. This is the moment when, if we truly are sorry, we are granted new life in Christ. Mind you, this gift doesn’t come our way because we were sorry. It is bigger than our own actions. Forgiveness in Christ comes to us as something we did not earn, but was earned for us on the cross. Laws and rules help us to live well, but divine forgiveness lets us soar into a new day transformed.
Let me examine myself as you examine me, Lord Christ. Allow me to see the mistakes I have made so that I can learn from them, and to see the possibilities for my life that you have always held for me. Amen
About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of the First Congregational Church, UCC, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and the author of Tell it Like it is: Reclaiming the Practice of Testimony.
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