Sunday, September 9, 2007

Introspection...no, CONFESSION is Good for the Soul

It's funny how your thinking can change and evolve somewhat with time. I guess because of that solid "Wesleyan Armenian" upbringing, I've always squirmed a little uncomfortably during our liturgical Communion services (Word and Table) since ministering in the United Methodist Church. Not that I meant to be pious or anything, but there were times that it irked me to have to pray the Confession along with others, before partaking of the Eucharist. Was I supposed to have anything to confess? Had I not loved God with my whole heart? Had I not loved my neighbors? Had I failed to be obedient? And if I had, shouldn't I just privately repent and move on? MAYBE.

Something was just different this morning. I don't know what, exactly. I think I just came to realize that while my life is to be one of a victorious overcomer, there are just so many shortcomings and failings that I MUST HAVE the mercy of God to cover. And in the particular Confession prayed today, I had to admit to myself (yes, while somewhat aware of the brothers and sisters sitting around me), that we as a Congregation needed to pray that prayer. For it was a collective prayer of Confession as a congregation. We have fallen short. We need God's mercy. And the beautiful thing is, His mercies are new every morning. There is fresh hope, fresh forgiveness, and fresh grace for the day that I face tomorrow. And speaking of tomorrow, it will be our first day of this new school year. I have opted for the Abeka program (for this year at least) for Lauren and Cameron, and will begin the K12 program with Sophie. She's only four, but she's ready, too. So I will need God's help in a special way. How could I do this without Him?

Abandoning all piety and embracing humility, I throw myself on the mercies of God.

Today's prayer of Confession and Pardon:
Merciful God,
we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have failed to be an obedient church.
We have not done your will,
we have broken your law,
we have rebelled against your love,
we have not loved our neighbors,
and we have not heard the cry of the needy.
Forgive us, we pray.
Free us for joyful obedience, (I love that part!)
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hear the Good News:
Christ died for us while we were yet sinners;
that proves God's love toward us.
In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!

The Peace:
Let us offer one another signs of reconciliation and love.

The Offering:
As forgiven and reconciled people,
let us offer ourselves and our gifts to God.

10 comments:

Juwah said...

Tara;

I hope your school year gets off to a great start. I can identify with the need for God esp. in the endeavor to educate the children. And to keep in mind that my primary job is to not just prepare them for an entrace examination to some college, but to prepare them for the great examination we will all face at the end of life. Yes, I desperately need Him too.
Are you doing the Acecca Video school or just using the curriculum? Keep me posted on how the kids like the trasition.
I'll mention you to our Father today, my friend.

Liz said...

Tara...you give alot to think on. Very moving post. I think you girls who homeschool are just great! I am not sure what we will do with Katy but I am leaning towards that more and more. We have many "Christian" schools here in the "Bible Belt" but there are things that we don't want her to learn as far as doctrine goes in each of those. I know she is only 3 1/2 but it will be here soon!

Toots said...

I hope you have as much joy learning with A Beka DVD as we did. In fact, my oldest asked Jesus into her heart in Kindergarten Bible-time. She meant it and to this day is tender and broken before Him. I thank God for that daily.
Blessings, my friend.

jenny said...

Amen to confession. I have come to fully realize my continued need for it in the call to true discipleship. Great post.

jodyj said...

Yes, I believe we Wesleyan Arminians fall short on confession. I'm afraid that leads to a spiritual pride. Thanks for this post.
Hope your school year started out great.

julie f said...

Once again, I loved what you had to say! I, too, am coming to believe and embrace the need for confession more. Just something I wasn't really raised with, but so scriptual.

I hope your school year is wonderful! So far, we are having a blast here...I think the more children you are schooling,the easier it can actually be...it becomes a family thing and the kids share enthusiam. Our little kindergartener is very excited and passionate about learning and that is proving to be contagious to the older ones!

Blessings on your day!

kayla said...

I tried to leave a comment last night and it wouldn't let me. In the meantime Jody pretty much said what I was trying to say.
Hat's off to you in your homeschooling endeavors.

Kimberly said...

Good stuff..always a balance, but like you I have become more and more aware of how frail I am in my own strength...and while my intent may be pure, often my actions are faulty! And this past Sunday I also had an "emotional" rxn in corporate worship at Catholic church...what do ya know..God comes there, too! I really think we miss out by neglecting corporate praise OR confession!

Good luck w/school...I would DEFINATELY be needing grace if doing it!:) Love to All!

Sonja said...

A loud AMEN to your thoughts. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with my neediness, but I rejoice in His sufficiency.

Hope your first week went well, and I wish you a wonderful weekend. I know that Keri's wedding will be beautiful. I'm sorry I won't be there to help you celebrate. For a brief, shining moment I thought I was going to be able to come, but alas it is not to be. My thoughts have been with you all this week with many preparations, I'm sure. I hope it is a WONDERFUL day.

Love ya!

Sonja said...
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