Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lenten Reflection, April 20, 2011

Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name.

The idea of renewal always seems to be popular in the church, perhaps because we recognize that we are always in need of it.

In this prayer of confession, asking God to renew us may mean something a little different from our popular ideas of renewal. This request for renewal is connected to our recognition of our own sin and failure. Does anything feel as uncomfortable as knowing we’ve failed?

Understanding the reality of our own sin and failure can leave us feeling completely undone. Most of us have good intentions, at least to begin with. We want to do what is right; we want to do what is good. Somehow, though, we don’t quite manage to do right consistently; our “goodness” is always lacking.

How utterly disheartening!

And when we are disheartened by our own sin and failures, the idea that God might renew us – might lift our spirits, encourage us, give us a fresh start – what a blessing that seems!

God’s renewal is a blessing, one of second chances and do-overs. Renewal is His pronouncement that He is still working in us. His forgiveness cleanses us, and His renewal gives us room to try again.

Renewal is yet another sign of His immeasurable grace and kindness toward us.

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