March 16

Psalm 51:1-5

“Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.” vs. 4

One of seven penitential psalms this prayer has often been attributed to David after his confrontation with the prophet Nathan, and the whole sorry Bathsheba affair. While its words are appropriate to such a setting, it’s unlikely that David was the author, and more likely that the psalm is intended for a congregational setting. It’s the sort of confession that might be used in any worship service focused on repentance. Indeed it’s particularly fitting in this Lenten season as we take time to meditate on our own sinful ways. We see in this verse a recognition that all sin is against God, and not just some unfortunate neighbor. To put it bluntly, our self-serving and sinful ways are an affront to the goodness and the love that are foundational for all of creation. And sin isn’t something we can pawn off on other people either. We’re all culpable! Just as all were created in the image of God, we all share in the brokenness of humanity. Sin is a corporate event and just because we’ve managed to avoid the really sickening stuff doesn’t mean we can avoid the blame. When we’ve got one finger pointed at others, there are three pointing back at us! When confession time comes, we’re all invited–and each of us has plenty to say!

Thought for the Day: If I went to confession today, what would I say?

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