Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 21, 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."
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
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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