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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 21, 2004

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 21, 2004 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our new book of
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 2004
      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 21, 2004


      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
      here is a selection from our new book of daily devotions,
      "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev.
      Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Psalm and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      More than a religious concern

      "Have mercy on me, O God,
      according to thy steadfast love;
      according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
      Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
      and cleanse me from my sin!
      For I know my transgressions,
      and my sin is ever before me.
      Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,
      and done that which is evil in thy sight,
      so that thou art justified in thy sentence
      and blameless in thy judgment.
      Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
      and in sin did my mother conceive me.
      Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being;
      therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
      Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
      wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
      Fill me with joy and gladness;
      let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice.
      Hide thy face from my sins,
      and blot out all my iniquities.
      Create in me a clean heart, O God,
      and put a new and right spirit within me.
      Cast me not away from thy presence,
      and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
      Restore to me the joy of thy salvation,
      and uphold me with a willing spirit."
      Psalm 51:1-12

      Sin is more than a religious concern (Douglas,
      J. D., F. F. Bruce, J. I. Packer, N. Hillyer, D.
      Guthrie, A. R. Millard and D. J. Wiseman, Editors.
      "New Bible Dictionary," pp. 1116-1120). Sin is
      socio-religious and corporate. Every social
      crime, adultery, oppression, injustice, theft,
      cruelty, inhumanity, and neglect of the poor,
      with land, nations, and neighbors is sin
      (Exodus 20:12-17; Job 31; Isaiah 1:12-20; Amos

      Sin also has individual origin and responsibility
      (Ferguson, Sinclair B., David F. Wright, J. I.
      Packer. "New Dictionary of Theology," pp. 641-643).
      The first book in the Bible traces sin to deliberate
      misuse of God-given freedoms from the beginning of
      human history, as we know it through Adam and Eve.

      The Biblical Jewish prophets insisted on individual
      responsibility for inner cleansing, renewal, and
      reformation. They also called their nation to
      change its ways which were displeasing to the Holy
      One (Barker, Kenneth, General Editor. "The New
      International Study Bible," p. 1015). The Psalms
      give us a vocabulary that teaches us about our
      separation from God. They use descriptive words
      such as rebel, wanderer, lawless, evildoer, guilty,
      liar, fool, wicked, and more.

      Sin is both simple and complicated at the same time.
      Sin is a failure to be what God wants us to be and
      to do what God wants us to do. A wonderful
      reflection of sin is found in Addiction and Grace,
      written by Dr. Gerry May. As a practicing
      psychiatrist and contemplative prayer leader, Dr.
      May observes this about sin, sin is whatever blocks
      us from the love of God, love of neighbor, and love
      of self (May, Gerry. "Addiction and Grace," p. 2).

      Sin blurs our connections with God. Webster's
      dictionary defines sin as the breaking of religious
      laws or moral principles. God gives sin its fullest
      meaning. God is righteous, holy, and utterly good.
      Sin is the opposite of God's goodness, love, and

      The sin solution in an oversimplified statement, is
      to offer our broken and contrite hearts to God for
      cleansing. We each need God's love and mercy in our
      life. The Bible offers many gracious assurances of
      forgiveness (Psalm 103:8-14; Isaiah 1:18; and Isaiah
      55:6-7 are only a few examples). The Psalms offer
      us many prayers useful for confession of sin,
      repentance, inner cleansing, and beginning a new
      life with God (Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and
      143). Restoration is part of our soul care. When
      we confess to God, we are lifted up and cleansed
      from sin.

      Perhaps Psalm 51 would be a good place to linger.
      God promises to scrub our sins away and clean our
      souls. God promises to restore our joy.

      The simplest explanation I know for confession is
      to admit personal and corporate wrongdoings in word,
      thought, and deed to God, while asking for help to
      live a better life.

      God, help me stop doing wrong and learn to do good.
      Help me seek justice and encourage the oppressed.
      Hear my prayers. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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