You have been summoned to worship, and following the pattern in the renewal service, now is the time to confess your sins. What does this look like?
You have come to the throne of grace. It is not a throne of works, it is not a throne of merit. You are not now told to confess your sins to prove that you are actually good. You are not told to confess to earn your salvation nor to earn God’s favor with you now. You are His beloved if you are in Jesus Christ.
You have been told to confess your sins because you are clutching them in your hand and so, with clenched fists, you are unable to hold out your hands, wide open, and receive His grace and mercy, His love and blessing. You are told to let it go – to let them go – so that you can receive. And so – drop them. Drop the pettiness, drop the lust, drop the self-righteous do-goodism, drop the bitterness, drop the unforgiving spirit, drop the theft, the sexual immorality, the lies – drop them all. Open up your hands and receive. Receive His grace, receive His blessing. Receive His love, His renewing power, His hope, His kindness, His mercy. Trust Him – this is a fair trade.
When we hold on to our sins, we show that a dog has more sense to let go of some dry bone in order to eat at a bowl full of savory food than we do who stuff our mouths with our self-justifying reasons to keep our sin while a feast has been set before us. Open your mouth wide, says the LORD, and I will fill it.