1 John 1:8-9
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Tish Harrison Warren is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America. She has worked in ministry settings for over a decade as a campus minister with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries, as an associate rector, and with addicts and those in poverty through various churches and non-profit organizations. Currently, she is Writer in Residence at Resurrection South Austin.
In these moments of my day — losing keys, losing patience, snapping at those I love, slamming the dishwasher door – I can respond with self-condemnation, self-justification, or repentance. When we confess and receive absolution together, we are like a football team practicing its plays, or a theater company rehearsing its lines. Together as a church we are practicing, learning the strokes that teach us to live our lives.
The practice of confession and absolution must find its way into the small moments of sinfulness in my day. When it does, the gospel – grace itself – seeps into my day, and these moments are transformed. They’re no longer meaningless interruptions, sheer failure and lostness and brokenness. Instead, there are moments of redemption and remembering, moments to grow bit by bit in trusting Jesus’ work on my behalf.
Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life
Loving God, we thank You for the gift of Your mercy and grace. It is undeserved, yet You continue to love us and call us to be Your people. Help us to recognize the moments in our day when we have fallen short; to name them and to recognize that You are with us in all moments. Strengthen us to confess our shortcomings, to rely on Your grace and boundless love, and to seek to follow You. May we remember that we are a forgiven people and treat others with the kindness we experience in You. Amen.