Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.
Main Readings: Genesis 2.15-17; 3.1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5.12-21; Matthew 4.1-11
Supplementary Readings: Psalm 91; 2 Corinthians 10.1-7; Exodus 24.1-11; Psalm 51.1-17; Matthew 26.1-35
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Psalm 32.5)
I once asked my grandfather how he thought we could understand spiritual maturity. His response was that “spiritual growth has to do with knowing who God is, and knowing who we are.” We went on to talk about how regular repentance is part of this knowing God and knowing self. God is God – perfect, almighty, eternal, Creator and King. We are not perfect, but we are still loved as his children. We may enter his throne-room confidently – but with reverence and awe.
When we begin to understand these truths, it makes living this Psalm possible. We sin against our all-powerful and all-knowing God, but there is no need to be afraid of acknowledging our sin to Him. In this Psalm, it seems that repentance has not come easily to David. Before David came before God, he was “groaning all day long”. But then he stops wrestling and decides to let go and declare his iniquities. David now willingly confesses his transgressions.
In Lent, we come before God in humility, reverence, and with a deep sense of awe – but also as God’s children whom God loves, cares for, and showers with grace and mercy. This Lent, let us acknowledge our sin against God to God, as well as to our brothers and sisters for our transgressions against them.
Through God’s perfect grace and mercy, anything is possible.