Prayer: Almighty God, your Word lights our path through life, thank you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Confessions and consequences
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
I can sympathize with our devotion writer as she explained how she dreaded confessing to her parents that she had been caught drinking at a high school basketball game. She knew she had broken the rules and she knew there would be consequences. As she delayed telling them her burdens of guilt and shame and anxiety grew.
Well, I didn’t drink in high school, but that was not the only rule one could break. I know of what our devotion writer speaks. “My subsequent punishment was nothing like the burden of guilt that I carried before I confessed.” It seems her mom already knew all about it. Isn’t that the way it seems in our relationship with God? We know we have sinned and broken the rules, yet the burden of guilt we can carry can be crushing. Confession is good for the soul.
By not confessing, we are not hiding the truth from God. He already knows about it, yet we still think that we can hide it, ignore it, and so we carry the burden. Our devotion writer explains; “God already knows all our sins! God is waiting for us to ‘come clean.’ When we humbly confess and repent before God, we receive only loving consequences: God’s cleansing forgiveness, which frees us from our guilt and shame.”
Prayer: “God of mercy, please forgive me and cleanse me of all of my sins, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Prayer for Cleansing and Pardon
To the leader. A Psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 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. 5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. 14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. 17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.