Sunday, March 5, 2017

First Sunday in Lent

First Sunday in Lent, March 5, 2017   Psalm 32:1-7 (7a)  

Psalm 32:1-7a English Standard Version (ESV)

Blessed Are the Forgiven
A Maskil[a] of David.

1  Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
    my strength was dried up[b] as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
    and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”,
    and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly
    offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
    they shall not reach him.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
    you preserve me from trouble;
    you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

When sin is confessed and Absolution occurs for the sake of Christ, God does not hold that sin against the penitent sinner. Forgiveness by God, the believer sincerely acknowledges his sin and does not try to excuse or cover it up.  Says Luther, ”For one who keeps silent (that is, who does not confess,) his bones quickly grow old, that is, his powers in which he formerly stood in good things are always reduced more and more by sin.” (AE 10:107)  1

The first part of confession is that we confess, or acknowledge, our sins. In confession, we plead guilty to all sin, even those which we are not aware of, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. Lent is a time of contemplation. We remember our sin and our need for a Savior. It is not however a time for us to wallow aimlessly. We turn to Christ for restoration, forgiveness and life. We look to Jesus the object and source of our life.

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son my Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 2

[1] Lutheran Study Bible © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[2] Collect for First Sunday in Lent,
Luther’s Seal © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

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