Reflection by Scott Stoner
The next section of the Prayer of Confession contains these words:
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.
Confessing that we have not loved “you with our whole heart” is really an invitation to be “all in” when it comes to loving God and our neighbor. Half-hearted loving and living, while not “wrong,” are not how God calls us to live. Irenaeus, a second-century church leader, put it this way: “The glory of God is the human being fully alive.”
“We are truly sorry and we humbly repent” is easy to understand if we think of its opposite: a time when someone apologized to us but we could tell they didn’t mean it, that they weren’t humbled by what they did and did not own it deep down. A full experience of forgiveness and reconciliation requires true humility and full ownership of the wrong that has been committed.
The root for the word humility is humus, which means ground. When we are brave enough to be honest with God, our neighbor, and with ourselves, we are re-grounding ourselves in truth, which is the first step in the process of forgiveness, repentance, and reconciliation.
Making It Personal: As you read the three lines above, what stands out for you? Does the distinction between half-hearted and whole-hearted living make sense to you? How can you tell when you are saying you are sorry in a way that is honest and humble versus when you are doing it because you think you should?
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.