Reflection and Reconciliation

For those who could not join us at the park for worship, here is one of five spiritual exercises used this past Sunday to draw us close to God.

(Items needed:  Journals, Bibles, pencils/pens)

For most folks, this is a very difficult experience.  The idea of spending a lengthy amount of time confessing sins seems incredible.  But after you have gotten past the “big” sins, the Spirit of God can begin to bring back all the lesser sins that you have failed to acknowledge and failed to deal with in your life.  Do not rush through this – it sets a tone for your overall experience.

This time of cleansing and healing is crucial to entering into God’s presence.  If you have difficulty naming your sins, just sit quietly in the Lord’s presence and ask Him to bring back to your mind any unconfessed sins you need to deal with.  You may be surprised at the results.

a time to confess

Have you sinned today? Have you made your soul old? Do not despair; do not despond, but renew it by repentance and tears and confession, and by doing good things. 

And never stop doing this.

John Chrysostom {AD 347-407}

To begin, find a place by yourself and get comfortable (not too comfortable).  Spend a considerable amount of time in personal confession.  Be very specific (you may want to journal this time)

  • Name people you have offended.
  • Tell God of the failures that still haunt your memory.
  • Detail sins of omission and commission (known and unknown)

After the time of personal confession, slowly read through Psalm 51 several times – (Note: Psalm 51 was written by David after his terrible sin with Bathsheba.)  Make as many of the words of the Psalm as possible your own, telling the Lord how you identify with David (again you may want to journal this time).

Then, go in deep imagination to the Cross – see Jesus dying for you there.  Take a moment to reflect what suffering Jesus endured.  Then talk to Jesus about grief over your sin and hear His words of forgiveness to you.  Remember to thank Jesus for his grace and forgiveness.

Psalm 51

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.

5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts [a] ;
you teach [b] me wisdom in the inmost place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

 

11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.

14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 The sacrifices of God are [c] a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings to delight you;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

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