Reflection by Scott Stoner
A common definition of sin is breaking God’s rules and commandments. While not disagreeing with this, I prefer a broader definition, one that defines sin as that which separates us from God and our neighbor, and that which goes against God’s will and intention for us. The Prayer of Confession from the Book of Common Prayer (p. 365) speaks of this broader understanding of sin.
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Note that the invitation asks us to confess our sins against both God and our neighbor. This is clearly connected to the two great commandments that Jesus taught us: love God and love our neighbor. We will explore each section of this prayer in greater depth during the rest of the week. Today, let’s take a moment to pray the whole prayer and reflect on its meaning for us.
Making It Personal: How do you define sin? Are you familiar with this Prayer of Confession? If so, what does it mean to you? What thoughts do you have about the opening quote?
Follow along with us this Lent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.