Tuesday of Lent 1, March 12, 2019
“Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
His mercy endures for ever.”
Yesterday, we looked at several questions that help us explore how we can live more fully into our baptism. Today, we will look at those questions again, but from a different perspective. But, before we get to those questions, let’s look back at that confession again …
We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength.We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, Lord.
Note that the words “heart, mind, and strength” are singular and the personal pronouns (we, us) in the confession are plural. The litany is prayed together and our confession is on two levels: while we do need to be mindful of our own personal sin, this confession is about us as a community. We, the baptized community gathered together, Sunday after Sunday, are invited to ask ourselves anew how we, as a part of the Body of Christ, have sinned. We need to examine our common life as a worshiping community, as a diocese, as a denomination, and as a part of the universal church on whether we are living into these baptismal graces
Yesterday, we prayed through a series of questions from the blessing prayed over the newly baptized:
Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the forgiveness of sin,
and have raised them to the new life of grace.
Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit.
Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen.
--BCP, p. 308
Today, let’s think and pray through these same questions, only asking the questions not about ourselves individually, but about us as worshiping community and diocese:
- In what ways have we not taken the time to inquire about your ways and your will, God? How can we practice a life of inquiry?
- In what ways have we been blinded to your ways and your will so that we have not discerned your movements in our common life, the life of those around us, or the world?
- When and in what ways have we not been courageous to do or persevere in doing what we understand to be God’s will?
- How have we loved the prevailing culture instead of God?
- In what ways have we missed the spirit of joy and wonder by feeding our fears or worry?
- How can our living into these baptismal gifts help us to love you better, God?
Which of these questions caught your attention? From this question, how do you hear your worshiping community and our diocese being called to love God more fully and, by doing so, to live more fully into our baptism?
Grant, Lord God, to all who have been baptized into the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, that, as we have put away the old life of sin, so we may be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and live in righteousness and true holiness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
--Collect 7. For all Baptized Christians, BCP p. 252-3