Note From The Pastor:
December 10, 2017
From the Pastor’s Desk:
“I've been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you're after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing.” Psalm 51: 5-8 (the message)
Did you notice that two weeks in a row now we have had a part of our worship together dedicated to Confession and Pardon? You are going to see that in weeks 3 and 4 of Advent as well. This isn’t something we practice a whole lot in our worship. We sing hymns and pass the peace and listen to sermons, but this act of confessing and pardoning is something we tend to avoid.
We avoid it because no one wants to admit to all the evil that lurks within us. Even as I have been planning this Advent season, I had considered leaving this part out. But, ultimately, I left it in because it is so very important in our waiting and anticipating of Christ.
Jesus didn’t come because everything was ok and God thought we would be super fun to hang out with. God came because humanity was broken and hurting and estranged. Jesus came to show God’s love to humanity and to show us how bones could be mended and feet set to dancing once more - how we could come home.
For human beings, for Christians, to “come home to God” is about recognizing where we are, realizing that, though we may think everything is in its place, it isn’t. The old saying “confession is good for the soul” is not a cliche; it is a truth. When we can admit, even in the broadest strokes of our confession and pardon litanies, we are clearing the way for healing and reconciliation. We are closing the gap that has slowly gotten wider between us and our God.
None of us is perfect. All of us need to confess. We sin through action and inaction. We sin in thought and word and deed. When we confess, repent, and accept the forgiveness God offers us, the guilt and the misery can be washed away, and we will be ready to receive the gift of Christmas, the gift of Jesus. So don’t shrink away from the confession, embrace it. Accept the forgiveness and extend it to others.
Forgiven and free,
Cherry Hill United Methodist Church