Abba Mios was asked by a soldier: "Father, God then accepts the repentance of the sinner?"
The Elder, after counselling him with many instructive words, suddenly asked him: "Tell me, my beloved, when you tear your uniform, do you throw it away?"
"No," the soldier answered, "I repair it and use it anew again."
Then Abba Mios thoughtfully told him: "If you take pity on your clothing, will not God take pity on His own creation?"
Reading: Matthew 16:15-20
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Confession isn’t an idea which comes very easily to us Nonconformist Christians. We rather like the idea that God has forgiven our sins in Christ and there while there may be a little private mopping up to do here and there, the issue is pretty well done and dusted. Confession definitely isn’t morally very challenging let along in some way publically articulated.
Which is a shame since the whole power of the confession is found in restoring us in God’s grace and joining us again with him in an intimate friendship. Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of our prayer. Those who confess with a contrite heart discover in return God gives peace and serenity.
I’m going to reflect on those embarrassingly simple sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. It’s a standard by which I can judge my behaviour.
Lord, forgive me.