We are presently in the season of Lent. And this is a time in the church year which is intended to move us towards a mindset of acknowledging our sinfulness and turning our hearts to the Lord in repentance. In this day and age, just as it has been in the past, it is so easy for us to get lost in the ways of the world. Desiring to be our own masters and setting our own courses in this life will generally take us down a path that leads away from the Lord, not toward Him. These 40 days of spiritual reflection give us the opportunity to focus on and evaluate who we are as sinners and who Jesus is as our Savior.
Certainly, this is not the only time during the year, when we can focus on the sin in our life and the need we have for the forgiveness Jesus offers to those who humbly come to Him for healing. Each time we meet for worship in the Lord’s house we have a confession and absolution segment of the service. This is always done at the beginning of the worship setting and is carried out then for a specific purpose.
Often times, you and I come to worship with a heavy load of sin, guilt, and baggage on our hearts, minds, and backs. It is pretty difficult to praise the Lord and share in the joy of being together as children of God, when we are burdened by the heavy weight of our trespasses against God and our neighbor. In confession and absolution, we have the wonderful blessing of being able to drop the load of sins we are hoisting around with us and lay them at the foot of the cross. In doing that we are taking advantage of Jesus’ invitation, “Come to me all of you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Matthew 11:28
Jesus came to free us from the sin that so easily entangles us and the deadly consequences of those sins if left unconfessed. His taking on our sins on His back and carrying them to the cross gives you and me the freedom which only He can truly provide. His gift of forgiveness earned by His sacrificial death is the gift that brings peace to our souls. By His wounds we are healed and our lives experience renewal.
We are a little over halfway through Lent. May you and I stay focused on the significance of the Lenten season. And, let us be among those who have a deep desire to repent, confess, and unload those sins we are carrying each and every day, so that we can receive the joy Jesus is offering in the fullness of His forgiveness. Lent is a good time to drop a few pounds. Right!! Pastor McCarty