Every meaningful relationship results in disappointment at some point or another; someone always messes up. It's just part of the human condition.
But to live within the will of God is to seek reconciliation when this happens, and it's usually best if the one who messed up takes the initiative.
Oddly enough, in our relationship with God, that initiative has been taken by God. Now what shall we do in response?
I would like to invite you into the spiritual practice of confession. For many Protestants, the spiritual practice of confession only finds expression in the form of responsive readings in worship. Yet, the practice of confession is a powerful way of reminding us of the unique relationship we have with God. It's not that in confession we share secrets that God does not already know. Rather, it is in the act of confessing that we are reminded that God knows us completely, even in our brokenness, and yet still loves us unconditionally.
It's no great revelation to say that we can struggle with identity and self-worth and may find the notion of God's unconditional love difficult to accept. I have to imagine the world would be a better place if we could learn to be both honest about our brokenness and also accept that despite our "sin" we are beloved of God.
Here are some ways that you could spend time with the spiritual practice of confession: -create your own confessional postcard to God, what would it say?
- think back over the mistakes of the past week, write a word or symbol in sand representing those failures, and then pass your hand through the sand, obliterating those words or symbols as a sign of accepting God's forgiveness.
-write on paper the places, attitudes, and relationships in our lives and in our world that keep us from God. Consider what it might feel like to let go of guilt. Consider how you will work to repair friendships/relationships. As you feel comfortable, you are invited to shred these confessions as an act of release and transformation, and then pray your own personal prayer.
As you go through this day, remember the words of Romans 8:38-39 - I'm absolutely convinced that nothing-nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable-absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. -The Message
Prayer for Today
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, O Lord, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation, and renew a right spirit within me. Amen.