"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Friday, February 16 2018

Lent is a penitential season, that is, it invites us to  engage in self-examination and to consider what attitudes and behaviours we practice which are, in some way, damaging, either to ourselves or to someone else.  This is not rocket science or even Falcon Heavy!

Generally we are conscious of the things we do and say that are not ‘of God’, even if admitting them is difficult.  We are aware of the odour of our own dirty laundry, and if we are not, others are!

In order to make those changes and put things right we, firstly, need to want to!   We need to recognize our faults, our sins,  and to truly desire to turn away from them and to choose a new path.  This is called repentance. Next comes the act of confession, declaring honestly to  ourselves and to God,  ‘things done and left undone’ and seeking forgiveness.  This might involve other people as well!

Corporate confession is that which we do together in public liturgies, and is  less about our personal moral transgressions and more about how the community, how humanity, sins.  Surf any news reports for confirmation of that reality.

We also may make confession in personal prayer time with God and there is always the option of requesting the sacrament we refer to as The Reconciliation of a Penitent. The Anglican approach is ““None must, all can, some should!”(see the Book of Alternative Services p.166)  Absolution is  the assurance of God’s forgiveness.  But there is no sense in doing any of the above if we intend to carry on as before.  Things must be done differently, which involves making changes  in our life.

Prayer: Lord, trouble me to recognize what needs changing in my life and firmly guide me to a plan that will effect the same.  In Jesus’ Name. Amen.