A Prayer of Confession and Gratitude on the Occasion of our 40th
Dear Heavenly Father,
We all have sinned and fallen short of your glory.
We confess to you our sin. Forgive us our sin.
The Sermon on the Mount rings in our ears. The teaching from it we read in your word, in Matthew’s gospel, the teaching of life as a citizen of your Kingdom and under your gracious rule.
We know that it looks like this…
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see You.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Your sons.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are we when others revile us and persecute us and utter all kinds of evil against us falsely on your account, God. (from Matthew 5:3-12)
Yes, this is what citizenship under your gracious rule looks like. This is what we have fallen short of. If only we could live just one of these out perfectly …
But we fail to do that. Forgive us. Change us. Move us, through the power of your Spirit, to live dependently on you, in Christlikeness.
Thank you for the gospel of grace. Grace that has covered our sin.
Grace that has changed our lives. Grace brought by our Lord Jesus Christ.
This Jesus, the one who was led away as a lamb, and who was sacrificed as a sheep, by himself delivered us from servitude to the world, and released us from bondage to the devil, and sealed our souls by his own Spirit and the members of our bodies by his own blood.
This Jesus is the one who covered death with shame and who plunged the devil into mourning. This Jesus is the one who delivered us from slavery into freedom, from darkness into light, from death into life, from tyranny into an eternal kingdom, and who made us a new priesthood, and a special people forever.
This Jesus is the Passover of our salvation.
This Jesus is the one who became human in a virgin, who was hanged on the tree, who was buried in the earth, who was resurrected from among the dead, and who raised mankind up out of the grave below to the heights of heaven.
This Jesus is the lamb that was slain. The lamb that was silent. The one who was born of Mary. This Jesus is the one who was taken from the flock, and was dragged to sacrifice, and was killed in the evening, and was buried at night; the one who was not broken while on the tree, who did not see dissolution while in the earth, who rose up from the dead, and who has ascended to the throne of heaven.
The work of the cross is complete. It is finished. We cling to that cross and what it means.
Your work in us is ongoing, and how we pray that it deeply changes us to reflect your image. To be radically transformed. Saved yes, but may we be a people who are acutely aware of the danger of sin, and who call upon you to keep us from it.
We pray in the name of our savior, Jesus. Amen
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