Why Bother? Part 1: Confession and Forgiveness
This is the first in a series of explanations about the different elements of our worship service. Some of us gathered have been worshiping our entire lives and some of us are rather new at it, but when God is present, as God is in worship, there is always room for all of us to grow. I invite you to open yourself up to the experience of worship. Worship is not something we attend but rather it is a relationship that happens to us.
May worship happen to you today and every day of your life.
Confession and Forgiveness
Through the waters of baptism, we are children of God “united with Christ and, through him, with other believers who together form a living community of faith” (ELW, p601). In that baptismal promise, we are assured that our sins are forgiven and we are liberated to live our lives as God intended, in love and faithfulness, free from fear.
But let's face it, we mess up. We act in ways that are harmful to others. We do not act when we should. We do not put God first in our lives. We turn away from God and from each other. It happens. We are saints and sinners, both at the same time. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves pure enough or good enough. Nor are we so bad that we are unredeemable. Our freedom from sin is not found in ourselves or in anything we do, but instead it is found in God's amazing grace.
The act of confessing our sin*, as we do in the beginning of our worship service, does not make us holy, but it does invite us to continually return to our baptism “where our sinful self is drowned and dies...and in the gift of forgiveness found in baptism God raises us up again and again to new life in Jesus Christ” (ELW, p601). The act of confession and forgiveness turns us toward God, reorienting who we are so that we can become disciples, following God not because we have to but because we stare into the face of God’s endless love and cannot do anything else.
By Pastor Danielle