Confession and Forgiveness

Confession and Forgiveness


CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

My bothers and sisters, each of us has an image of the person that we know we can be, and each of us has failed to live up to that image. Sometimes, we are simply too hard on ourselves, creating impossible expectations to which no one could conform. But all too often it is simply because we choose not to live up to that image. For whatever the reason, we choose not to be the people that we know we can be, and we settle for less. We miss the mark.

In the Bible, that distance between the person we know we can be, and the person we know we are, is called sin. The Bible promises that if we admit to each other and to God that we have missed the mark, we will be forgiven. But we have to admit that we need forgiveness before we can receive forgiveness. This is not because God withholds forgiveness until we wallow in our guilt, but simply because we cannot accept forgiveness if we don’t think we need it.

Here’s the deal: If we say, “We haven’t missed the mark,” "We haven't done anything wrong," "We haven't sinned," then we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we admit that we have missed the mark, God will overlook our shortcomings and purify us from everything that we have ever done wrong.

God can sympathize with our weaknesses because God took on humanity in person of Jesus Christ. He was tempted in every way that we are, the difference being that he did not miss the mark. That's why we can confidently approach God and receive his merciful kindness.

So let us acknowledge how we have fallen short in our relationship with God and with our relationships with our families, friends, colleagues, and one another and let us ask the Lord and each other for forgiveness.

Let us pray:

Merciful God, I confess to you and to my brothers and sisters, that I have missed the mark in what I have done and in what I have failed to do. I have tried to hide from you and live according to my own standards. I have lived for myself. I have turned away from the needs of others. I have ignored the pain of the world in the pursuit of my own pleasure. In your mercy forgive what I have been, change who I am and direct who I will become. Give to me the joy of your salvation and sustain me with your generous Spirit. Amen.

Lord, have mercy

Lord, have mercy

Christ, have mercy

Christ, have mercy

Lord, have mercy

Lord, have mercy

Amen.


DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS

I have good news for you all, brothers and sisters, there is no one who is so bad, or who has gone so far astray, or who has missed the mark so much that he or she is beyond God’s awesome power to forgive. God is the creator of life and God can re-create life within us at any time. All we have to do is to be open to that new creation. No one is beyond help and no one is beyond hope.

Who is in a position to condemn you? Only Jesus Christ, and he died for you. Who is in a position to condemn you? Only Jesus Christ, and he rose from the dead for you. Who is in a position to condemn you? Only Jesus Christ, and he reigns in power for you. Who is in a position to condemn you? Only Jesus Christ, and he intercedes on your behalf.

Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into being. All of our relationships are restored by God through Christ. Friends, believe this good news: because of Jesus Christ, we are all forgiven.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit! As it was in the beginning, it is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

God has forgiven you and God has a plan for your life. Here is how God wants the people he has forgiven to live:

Jesus said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ The teaching of the entire Bible rests on these two commandments.”

So as holy people whom God has chosen and loved, be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Put up with each other and forgive each other. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you.




The Word