Tag Archives: confession

Jesus is Coming

God is,
always has been
and yet
is still to come.

He loves us,
saves us,
frees us
and appoints us
to be with him.
We are his people,
workers with him.

And yet,
he is still to come.
He promises to come again,
that everyone may see,
there will be no uncertainty,
God’s arrival.

God who was,
is
and is yet to come
we worship you.

I come in confession
for the times I have ignored you,
not looked for you,
missed
or hampered
your arrival where I am.
Forgive me
when I have wounded you.

May I wait,
faithfully,
openly,
longingly,
looking for your presence.

Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending

Revelation 1:4-8 (CEV)

From John to the seven churches in Asia.

I pray that you
    will be blessed
with kindness and peace
from God, who is and was
    and is coming.
May you receive
    kindness and peace
from the seven spirits
    before the throne of God.
May kindness and peace
    be yours
from Jesus Christ,
    the faithful witness.

Jesus was the first
    to conquer death,
and he is the ruler
    of all earthly kings.
Christ loves us,
    and by his blood
he set us free
    from our sins.
He lets us rule as kings
and serve God his Father
    as priests.
To him be glory and power
    forever and ever! Amen.
Look! He is coming
    with the clouds.
Everyone will see him,
even the ones who stuck
    a sword through him.
All people on earth
will weep because of him.
    Yes, it will happen! Amen.

The Lord God says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the one who is and was and is coming. I am God All-Powerful!”

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The Way to Live

This is such excellent advice, for church and for life.  A real model of how we can, and should, live.  It seems impossible to read this passage and not come in confession for how far from it I am.

By Shepherd Gallery via Wikimedia Commons

Ephesians 4:1-16 (CEV)

Unity with Christ

As a prisoner of the Lord, I beg you to live in a way that is worthy of the people God has chosen to be his own. Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. Try your best to let God’s Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace. All of you are part of the same body. There is only one Spirit of God, just as you were given one hope when you were chosen to be God’s people. We have only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. There is one God who is the Father of all people. Not only is God above all others, but he works by using all of us, and he lives in all of us.

Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us. As the Scriptures say,

“When he went up
    to the highest place,
he led away many prisoners
    and gave gifts to people.”

When it says, “he went up,” it means that Christ had been deep in the earth.10 This also means that the one who went deep into the earth is the same one who went into the highest heaven, so that he would fill the whole universe.

11 Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers, 12 so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong. 13 This will continue until we are united by our faith and by our understanding of the Son of God. Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him.

14 We must stop acting like children. We must not let deceitful people trick us by their false teachings, which are like winds that toss us around from place to place. 15 Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head 16 of the body. Christ holds it together and makes all of its parts work perfectly, as it grows and becomes strong because of love.

Lord,
I am so far
from what you call me to be,
so far
from what you ask of me,
so far from your ideal.

I am not humble
and gentle,
I can be rough
in thought and word,
and think first of myself.

I’m not very patient
or good at putting up with things,
I make demands
of you,
of others,
of myself,
wholly unreasonably
and inappropriately.

My ways
do not always show love,
I bury it well,
or forget it all together
and work from less fine motives.

I don’t live in peace.
I cause strife
and discomfort,
disabling others
from finding peace
because I don’t have it.

I forget
that we are all one body,
that we need each other
to work well;
I am not a one person band,
but need others for my wholeness,
who also need me
for theirs.

I forget that you are my hope,
I try to fix things myself,
be my own saviour
and bypass you.

I overlook the gifts of others,
what you have called them to be,
the ways we can all work together.
That though we all work differently,
we all work for you.

Oh,
but I am so good
at acting like a child…

I am so sorry
for all have got wrong.

May I not be blown about
in the breeze,
may I cling to you
and your ways,
hold to your truth,
together,
always together
in you.

Let love hold us,
grow us,
teach us
in you.

This song links this to tomorrows post on John 6:24-35

Ash Wednesday – An honest Appraisal

Reblogging this from last year – a moment to pause and reflect

Ash Wednesday is a time for reflection, for confession, for honesty before God.  It is an opportunity also to seek God’s forgiveness – and receive it, deep into our heart and mind; to know that those things that trouble us, and those we are barely aware of but effect us deeply, can be dealt with by God; and to receive his peace.

Ashes are a way to show sorrow, a physical sign of an inner reality.

2014-02-27 12.12.10

Ashes mark penitence and mourning, an acknowledgement of and sorrow at our wrongdoing.

Daniel 9:2-4 (CEV)
Daniel Prays for the People

1-2 Daniel wrote:

Some years later, Darius the Mede, who was the son of Xerxes, had become king of Babylonia. And during his first year as king, I found out from studying the writings of the prophets that the Lord had said to Jeremiah, “Jerusalem will lie in ruins for seventy years.” 3-4 Then, to show my sorrow, I went without eating and dressed in sackcloth and sat in ashes. I confessed my sins and earnestly prayed to the Lord my God:

Our Lord, you are a great and fearsome God, and you faithfully keep your agreement with those who love and obey you.

We go through life.  We think we’re doing ok – not a bad job all things considered.  Or we don’t even have time to stop and think about it.  We are busy just surviving, getting to the next thing, trying to hold everything together.

But sometimes we are pulled up short.  We realise we have got something badly wrong, or just a little bit wrong, and we have to stop and think.  We need to apologise, put right what we have got wrong and receive forgiveness.  Often the hardest person to forgive is ourselves.

Ash Wednesday is a specific opportunity to do that thinking.  To take the time to purposely reflect before God on the reality that is our life.

Burning,
cleansing God,
I come before you today;
I want to take this time
to remember,
to honestly recall,
to examine my life
in your presence;
to ask my self
if I live up to all you ask of me,
day by day,
heartbeat by heartbeat,
in every corner of my life.

We know the Ten Commandments:

The Ten Commandments

20 God said to the people of Israel:

I am the Lord your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves.

Do not worship any god except me.

Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth. Don’t bow down and worship idols. I am the Lord your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me, I will punish your families for three or four generations.But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations.

Do not misuse my name. I am the Lord your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name.

Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs to me. You have six days when you can do your work, 10 but the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day—not you, your children, your slaves, your animals, or the foreigners who live in your towns. 11 In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That’s why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me.

12 Respect your father and your mother, and you will live a long time in the land I am giving you.

13 Do not murder.

14 Be faithful in marriage.

15 Do not steal.

16 Do not tell lies about others.

17 Do not want anything that belongs to someone else. Don’t want anyone’s house, wife or husband, slaves, oxen, donkeys or anything else.

Read them slowly, thinking not just about the letter of them, but the spirit too.

Talk honestly to God about where you are with them and with him.  How have I lived out what God wants me to do?  How have I shown love, his love and mine, to those around me?  Not just the lovely people, but those that annoy me too?

I worship God, but are there other gods in my life?  Things I do rather than spend time with God or do what he requires of me?  Are there things I put in God’s place?

Am I free and easy with God’s name?  Do I do or say things that make me sound like I am closer to God than I am; or when I use his name to validate what I say, when it is actually my opinion that I have to say?

Do I make space, real space, for God, for myself and for those I love?  Or am I busy cramming my life with things that don’t really matter?

Do I truly respect those that I should?  Those who have experience and wisdom that I don’t?  Those who have sacrificed much for me and cared for me?

Of course I’ve never murdered anyone, but have I done and said things that have made people die on the inside?  Have I wished ill of people?

Am I faithful?  Do I always give the honour that is due?  Am I focussed, or do other things distract me?

I may not commit robbery, but do I look for short-cuts, loopholes or the cheapest rather than the best way?  Do I take others time, take them and all they offer for granted?  Am I looking for an easy ride through life, or willing to give as much as I get?

Am I honest in character?  Do I stretch the truth when it suits me?  Avoid the question?

Am I easily jealous, wanting what others have?  Thinking it will answer my problems?

There is so much I do that I shouldn’t do, and don’t do that I should…

Lord,
I come before you in shame,
in penitence,
to say that I am truly sorry.
My life is not what you would have it be,
I have not lived as the person you called me to be,
I have got some things very wrong
As I think of the ashes,
the dirt and the dust,
I see the darkness in my life;
I rub my hands in it
and see and feel the stain
Forgive me,
I pray.
Thank you
that you promise forgiveness
and give it freely.
This day may I go,
marked by you,
forgiven,
restored
and free
in and through
your love