An icon of King David.
Bible Readings and Devotion for November 18 and 19, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible.
Devotion for November 18 and 19, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
The world around us says all sorts of things. Some are true and good. Some are false and bad. Some are half-truths which lead to mixed results, or worse.
One of these things which some in various cultures point to is, “victimless crimes.” There are people who point to various acts which are listed as criminal which, supposedly, do not hurt anybody. Some point to crimes which counter moral standards, such as crimes related to sex, drugs, and clothing restrictions. These are often half-truth situations, even in civil cases alone. When we look closer to these we often see that there are victims, but it is not necessarily obvious at a first look.
As we look at things through the lens of our relationship with God, we see that anything we do which is counter to God’s commands and will does cause harm. There may be a specific victim of our sin, such as someone we harm by violence, lies, adultery, etc. Some of our sin is not overtly an action against a fellow human. Some of our sin is self harm.
In our psalm today, Psalm 51, King David makes it very clear that he understands things differently than the world. He notes in verse 4, “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.” Every sinful action is ultimately a harm to our relationship with the Lord.
The psalm invites us to confess our sin to God. We do this in many and various ways. Each time we confess to God it is a response to the grace of God. Confession can happen because God seeks to have us reconciled to himself. God wants us to be in fellowship with him. God wants us to address the wrong we have done through confession, and to work out anything that needs to be reconciled or corrected with others. God desires restoration and life for us, therefore we can confess our sin to God.
We confess through various means.
*The Lord’s Prayer
*Confession and Forgiveness at the beginning of our communion services.
*Receiving Holy Communion
*Individual Confession with one’s pastor – see Luther’s Small Catechism for how to do this. He notes it in the section about Holy Baptism.
*Confessional conversation with a caring, Christian friend.
Remember, God loves you and desires an eternal and uplifting relationship with you from this day and forever more.
From the Confession and Forgiveness in Evangelical Lutheran Worship
Most merciful God, we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen