Today’s Readings: Psalm 143; Nehemiah 9:1-15; Matthew 18:1-9; Revelation 21:22-22:5
As some of you who have read my blog for awhile know, the previous church I served was an ecumenical church. This meant that in addition to being affiliated with my own denomination (the United Church of Christ) it was also affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and The United Methodist Church. Because of its ecumenical nature, I went to great lengths to include elements of each tradition whenever possible.
One of the things the Presbyterian tradition regularly includes in its worship services is a prayer of confession – so I included a prayer of confession each week. At first, the spiritual practice was challenging for me since I tended to be someone who was drawn to the spark of the Divine contained with individuals and preferred to focus on the possibility for good that lies within human beings. Over time, however, the prayer of confession opened me up and helped me see the tremendous value of acknowledging our limitations as well. Ironically, the practice of confession helped me accept and embrace every aspect of myself – not just the pieces that I thought were praiseworthy. Over time I personally came to value the practice of confession greatly.
The author(s) of today’s passage from Nehemiah understood the value of confession as well – for in the passage we are told that as a part of their process of restoration the Israelites “stood and confessed their sins” (Nehemiah 9:2 from the NRSV). My question for your consideration today is this: what role does confession play in your own spiritual journey? Til next time…