Three years ago we decided to visit Park Cities Presbyterian Church with our good friends. We've never left! Coming from a Southern Baptist upbringing, some of the service was unusual to me, but in a good way. One thing I loved from the very first Sunday was the time of confession. The congregation first reads a public confession of sin, new every week. Then we spend a couple of minutes in private confession of our sin to our Heavenly Father in order to cleanse and clear our hearts to receive the message. In the hustle and bustle of getting eight kids to church each week I don't often have time to prepare myself like I ought and I find that those moments in the service are precious to me!
I thought the public confession this week was so beautifully written and heart-piercing that I needed to share it. I find that the public confession reminds me of very different types of sin than I might come up with on my own, and for that I am thankful. Perhaps it will pierce your heart as well.
O Living God,
I bless You
that I see the worst of my heart as well as the best of it,
that I can sorrow for those sins that carry me from You,
that it is Your deep and dear mercy to threaten
punishment so that I may return, pray, live.
My sin is to look on my faults and be discouraged,
or to look on my good and be puffed up.
My sin is to fear what never will be;
I forget to submit to Your will, and fail to be quiet there.
But Scripture teaches me that Your active will
reveals a steadfast purpose on my behalf,
and this quietens my soul,
and makes me love You.
Keep me always in the understanding that
saints mourn more for sin than other men,
for when they see how great is Your wrath against sin,
and how Christ's death alone pacifies that wrath,
that makes them mourn the more.
Help me to see that although I am in the wilderness
it is not all briars and barrenness.
I have bread from heaven, streams from the rock
light by day, fire by night,
Your dwelling placce and Your mercy seat.
I am sometimes discouraged by the way,
but though winding and trying it is safe and short;
Death dismays me, but my great High Priest
stands in its water,
and will open me a passage,
and beyond is a better country.
While I live let my life be exemplary,
When I die may my end be peace.