“Reflecting on the week that has passed, Lord, show me where you were at work in my life. In what ways did I experience your goodness and when did I hear you speak.” * In what ways did I experience the power of your resurrection? In ways unique to my life, my relationships and/or my practices?

*These words are from an app I mentioned in a previous post, called lectio365. I can’t recommend it enough – especially as you prepare to end your day. The idea that follows, comes from the post I wrote earlier: “He is alive, but where is He?” As we try to ground our understanding of resurrection life, we need practical ways to see that, and I hope that these three areas help us to do that.

It’s a small example, but I spent time with one of my grandsons last week, and my goal was simply to get him talking. I didn’t care what he talked about, but I wanted him to get excited and to look at me when he talked. And he did! I felt that it was a resurrection moment because he knew I was present to him, and that was the way Jesus was with Thomas, or even the other disciples, especially Peter in John 21:13-17.

I think we have to be intentional about moments like these. I know we want to experience a life that mirrors Christ’s – and we do that as we learn to abide in Him; to rest in Him, and to practice His presence with us and in us. The intentionality comes when we decide to look for that – whether in our own bodies, our relationships or our practices of prayer, worship, study…

So whether we are asking God to reveal the ways we experienced his goodness or we are asking Him to show us our sin – it’s all a part of the resurrection life He has invited us into.

In this season then, let’s be intentional about both – which is all about living out our baptisms – we take our place in His death, and we take our place in His rising – through confession, through dying to the old man, to being present to those around us.

…we cannot talk about sin for very long without being drawn into doxology. Were it not for the mercy of God surrounding us, we would have no perspective from which to view sin, for we would be entirely subject to it. That is the reason for affirming that wherever sin is unmasked and confessed, God’s redemptive power is already present and acting. Fleming Rutledge

Begin by centering your heart in God’s presence… Give thanks to Him that you do not need to hide anything from him. Affirm that He is faithful and good, and his mercy and grace are “new every morning.” The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-23). 

Now let Him begin the process of searching your heart. Are there ways you have not honored Christ this week? Where were your thoughts and desires not centered in Him? How have you failed in obedience to Christ?

Then, simply confess in as specific a way you can the sins that trouble you. Don’t rush through this process. Simply rest in God’s presence as He does this.

Now choose to let this go and receive Christ’s forgiveness for you. Remember – “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)

Receive His assurance of pardon.

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ .

Ephesians 1:7-9 (ESV)

And finally commit this confession to the Lord. As you rest in His forgiveness ask Him how to walk this out. Ask for the supernatural power of His Spirit to give you what you need to move forward. Thank Him that you “have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer [you] who live, but Christ lives in [you]” (Gal. 2:20).

Some of you may be aware of the African Anglican liturgy for confession of sin during Communion. It paints such an incredible picture and so I want to leave that with you as you close this time of confession.

AN AFRICAN BENEDICTION

All our problems,
We send to the cross of Christ!
All our difficulties,
We send to the cross of Christ!
All the devil’s works,
We send to the cross of Christ!
All our hopes,
We set on the risen Christ!