Moved 4 Ways: Confession and Renewing Your Congregation
August 17, 2020
Updated August 18, 2020
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The Daily Office uses a prayer of confession deeply rooted in the history of the church. Somewhere, at some time you may have prayed it in worship:
“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.”
Typically when praying this confession on a daily basis I’m struck by the words “left undone” (or as one my Seminary Professors said, “the things we never even imagined doing). The list of things that I have “left undone” is long and inexhaustible. There are so many things to do in the world, so much brokenness, so many who need care, so many structures that perpetuate injustice—how can we not crumble as we pray “left undone.”
But then I noticed something that is quite possibly obvious to you. Like the Lord’s Prayer, this prayer of confession is plural—this is a prayer we pray together. It is not that I have to do all of these things or have left all of these things undone (or never imagined things I should be doing), it is the body of Christ, the fellowship of the faithful, the church.
Which leads me to recognize four ways this prayer hits me:
This small prayer of confession for me turns into a prayer that raises all kinds of questions about individualism, our heart of confession, as well as, thanksgiving that the work of the kingdom is not on my shoulders alone; God has put me into a kingdom community where we pray and work out these words together.
How does this prayer of confession stir up your thinking about how your congregation and how you live into a deep renewal journey?
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