Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In Remission - Second Week of Lent

The Church of St. Maurille, Vouziers, France

Returning to the unpopular-but-fitting Lenten topic of sin and repentance…

There’s an archaic term in Joel 2:13 - a call to
rend your heart to God. He’s not looking for an apology. He’s looking for a true change of heart. The Message translation puts it this way:
“Come back to me and really mean it! Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!” Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here’s why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, this most patient God, extravagant in love…
(Joel 2:12-13)

Dear God,

On Ash Wednesday I acknowledged my wretchedness. Well, I said it, but I really need to own it during Lent.

It’s unsettling (as it should be) but I can enthusiastically pray for forgiveness and remission of my sins. Indeed, I want to be in remission!

…with St. Paul’s prescription from 2nd Corinthians, I pray for:

Purity. Understanding. Patience. Kindness. The Holy Spirit. Sincere love. Truthful speech. And the power of God.

...with the Spirit’s help I rend my heart and affirm Christ’s extravagant love. Amen.