TO CONFESS YOUR SINS TO GOD is not to tell God anything God doesn't already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the Golden Gate Bridge. ~Frederick Buechner
- Originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words
General Confession (contemporary)
God of all mercy,
we confess that we have sinned against you,
opposing your will in our lives.
We have denied your goodness in each other,
in ourselves, and in the world you have created.
We repent of the evil that enslaves us,
the evil we have done,
and the evil done on our behalf.
Forgive, restore, and strengthen us
through our Savior Jesus Christ,
that we may abide in your love
and serve only your will. Amen.
Sometimes there is an overwhelming sense of "damned if you do and damned if you don't."
It seems like a relatively modern concept, and yet in scripture all the way back, we hear that same cry...
You have put my friends far from me; you have made me to be abhorred by them; I am in prison and cannot get free.
Thou hast caused lover and friend to shun me; my companions are in darkness.
Where is God when we walk into briar patches or snake pits; what possesses us to err so badly?
...and yet again in scripture, we are rewarded with a response...not the answer to why, but the answer to "where do I go from here?" It is not coincidence that here, right in the middle of Lent, I am mired in the muddy waters of temptation and darkness.
Canticle: A Song of Penitence
Prayer of Manasseh, 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.
Like Sisyphus, I will continue to push the rock. Life is in the pushing; hope is in the rock.