Sometimes, O God, we forget people, or we toss them aside — the difficult ones, the needy ones, the ones that are hard to spend time with, the ones who confront us. We are uncomfortable, or we feel guilty, or we follow brighter, shinier people, or we worry about what will make us look good. We are in such desperate need of your forgiveness. We need to be forgiven for our sin, for our mistakes, for mistaking what the world values with what you value. Help us to be better, and to see more clearly, and to care more thoroughly. In Christ we pray. In the season of Lent we are invited to consider how we live as followers of Christ — to look at our decisions and our actions straight on, and to hold them up to the example of Christ, and to make amends.
SURVEY ON PANDEMIC WORSHIP
In an article titled 'A Wretch Like Who? It is important to note that the idea of a redeemer, a savioi; is impossible without the idea of a fallen humanity. You cannot he saved if you are not lost. You cannot be redeemed if you are not in hock. You cannot he freed if you are not enslaved. American culture, even in its churches, avoids tlie idea of real sinfulness. It nev-crthcless clings sentimentally to the idea of redemption. Popular culture on a large scale both tells people that they are OK and embraces some vague cultural Christianity…. Our culture does not believe in wickedness — that is, in culpability. The "conviction of sin" is hardly possible to us.
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Whether the confession of sin is to take place at the beginning or later in the service, it should be preceded by a brief time of preparation. Attention can be drawn to particular words in the confession about to be used, so that all may reflect on the significance of what they will say together. If the beginning of a service has been characterised by praise, an appropriate bridge to confession should be provided. Alternatively, a call to confess sins may be directly linked with the general introductions in section 1 and provide a penitential opening to the service, as in the traditional Prayer Book exhortation 4. There should be a pause for reflection between the invitation and the confession.
What is sin? We often reduce it to mere legalism. We figure sinning just means breaking the law or goofing up. But sin, on a much deeper level, is a matter of the heart. It means, very simply, choosing not to love. They were rejecting a relationship with God. If you unplug a lamp from a wall you can be sure the lamp will stop working.