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From the Pastor's Desk

February  2019

 

 

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.  I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Psalm 32:3-5

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             Confession of Sin

            Each week in our worship service we corporately bow before the Lord to confess our sins before God. This is an extremely important aspect of our service, but it can become rather repetitious and done in vain. So, it is good to step back for a moment and remember what we’re doing in this time of confession and why we do it every week.

 

            Our standard confession of sin will typically begin with the following, “Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer; we poor sinners confess to You that we are by nature sinful and unclean, and that we have sinned against you in our thoughts, words, and deeds.” Again, these words can become rather repetitious and can lose their meaning but notice what we’re confessing here.

            First of all, we’re confessing to be standing before the almighty, holy, and sinless God; the one who made us and redeemed us. That is, the one we are accountable to.

            Secondly, we’re confessing that we are standing before this holy and righteous God as sinners. That is, we’re doing what Adam and Eve didn’t do in the garden after they sinned.  Instead of hiding, we’re standing naked and exposed before God with all our sin and guilt and saying, “Yes, we are sinful by nature and we are not deserving of being in Your presence.” 

            Thirdly, we are confessing that we continue to sin against God each day in our thoughts, words, and deeds. That is, just as we are marked by the original sin of Adam, so we also confess that we have and continue to actually sin against God in what we say, think, and do. We habitually break God’s Law. This is what Isaiah is confessing in Isaiah 6 when he cries out, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips.” This is the sin that David is confessing in Psalm 32 when he says, “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity.”

            After considering our sinful state, the confession then goes on, saying, “Therefore we flee for refuge to Your infinite mercy and ask You for Christ’s sake, grant us forgiveness of all our sins, and by Your Holy Spirit increase in us true knowledge of You and of Your will and true obedience to Your Word, to the end that by Your grace we may come to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”    This section of the confession is what we might call the Kyrie eielson, which is Greek for “Lord, have mercy!” That is, not only are we confessing to be sinful by nature and in actual sin, but we are also crying out for mercy from God, asking that He would forgive us our sins for Christ sake; that is, for the sake of the one who stood in our place and died for our sin. Here we are also asking for God’s grace that we might continue to be sanctified in the truth, that we might live a life of obedience to the Lord’s will, and ultimately come into eternity to be with Him.

            So, there’s a lot packed into this short confession of sin, and it’s all important for us to remember and confess each week. And the reason why is because of the situation or state that the Christian dwells in while living on this side of eternity. In the Lutheran church we confess that Christians are Simul Justus et Peccator, which means “simultaneously justified (saint) and sinner.” That is, on the one hand, while living on this earth we dwell as those who have been fully cleansed of our sin through the blood of Christ and set free from our enslavement to sin.  But on the other hand, we continue to wrestle with sin in our flesh. That is, our old nature doesn’t give up so easily (see Romans 7:7-25). And so, we recognize that even for the Christian we continue to sin in our thoughts, words, and deeds each day. Therefore, we must continually cry out to God for mercy and forgiveness, knowing that in Christ we will receive exactly what we plead for. That is, like David, when we confess our transgressions to the Lord, we can be confident that He will forgive the iniquity of our sin, and He will lead us in the path of righteousness.

            So, take to heart the importance of this aspect in our worship service, think about what’s taking place in that moment, and consider how this confession of sin is preparing our hearts to receive the message of the gospel found both in our confession of faith and through the Word of God being proclaimed. Lord, have mercy on us!

Pastor Gideon

       Announcements/upcoming events:

 

- Our first new members class will be meeting on Saturday, February 2 at Hauge Church. As of right now the meeting time is set for 9am and will go for about an hour and a half. Please let Pastor Gideon know if you’re interested in joining us for that time so that he can have materials ready. Meeting times for following classes will be decided at the first gathering.

- It may seem early, but it’s never too early to start thinking about Lent. Our midweek Lenten Services will begin on March 6th with our Ash Wednesday service. This year we will be going through a series of sermons put out by Northwestern Publishing House (WELS) titled Three Words of Truth by Keith C. Wessel.

The schedule and sermons will be as follows:

 

  • Ash Wednesday/Midweek 1

Is It I?

Matthew 26:20-25

  • Midweek 2 

Love One Another

John 13:31-35

  • Midweek 3

Watch and Pray

Matthew 26:35-41

  • Midweek 4

I Am He

John 18:3-9

  • Midweek 5

What Is Truth?

John 18:33-40

  • Midweek 6

Take Him Away!

John 19:14-18

  • Palm Sunday

Save Us Now!

Matthew 21:1-11

  • Maundy Thursday

Take and Eat; Take and Drink

Matthew 26:26-28

  • Good Friday

It Is Finished!

John 19:28-30

  • Easter Sunday

Remember Jesus Christ: He Has Risen!

 

 

Watch past Sunday morning Services here - (click this link)

 

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