Most Sundays we gather for worship and Holy Communion using well-worn and familiar words to declare our shared shortcomings: “We have sinned against [God] in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone…” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 95).
Rooted in the promises of baptism, we boldly confess before God, in community with others who are also burdened by hidden mistakes and sins. We hear the presiding minister proclaim God’s mercy. We receive forgiveness again and again. Together, with the body of Christ, our burdens lift. We are free to worship with the joy of grace-filled hearts.
Corporate confession refocuses us on God’s will. We are given grace to mend divisions and seek reconciliation in our community and in the world.
This message is adapted from “Most merciful God” written by Jennifer Phelps Ollikainen that first appeared in the September 2018 issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember John of Damascus, theologian and hymnwriter, who died around 749.
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