Monday, March 8th
I spend a lot of time in churches – most of it at St John’s. I’m have been very active in ministry for forty or more years. I am a saint – in the eyes of some. Often, I may be a saint in my own eyes, and that is a danger!
Jeremiah was sent to the temple (the church, if you will) to warn the people that being in the temple all the time was not the key to their salvation. Their sin was actually part and parcel of their temple worship.
My ministry and worship are visible to others and to myself. But I know better! I know most of my secret sin; and God knows ALL of my secret sin. Psalm 90, one of my favorites, reminds me in verse 8 that “Our iniquities you have set before you, and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.” [BCP p718]
I hide my secret sins from my fellow churchmen; I do not confess my secret sins to our clergy; I usually don’t even confess them to God – though I know that He already knows them. Even worse (or, actually better!), He knows my sin that is secret even from ME! “Better” because He also forgives me.
But just because He forgives me, and just because I KNOW that He forgives me, that does not excuse my sinning – my continuing to sin in secret.
Jeremiah says to the people in the name of God, “Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you?” [NIV]
My prayer must be, “Lord, forgive me my secret sin, and help me to set aside my sinful nature and worship You in spirit and in truth. Thanks be to God who forgives all our sin through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”