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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Corporate Confession: Brokenness that Restores Our Focus

Worship involves celebration, certainly, and done wholeheartedly! We have and need to continue to fill our lives with as many ways to thank God for all that He has done and continues to do; to praise Him for all that He is.  At the same time, if we focus only the celebration we will miss much of the fullness of worship.

Though not all the psalms were designed for public corporate worship, the largest number of the most common theme of the psalms is the theme of lament. Just as we take all our personal joys and sorrows to our loving Father in our private time of worship, we need to remember that we need to take our joys and sorrows into our corporate worship.

The Old Testament is full of examples of great celebrations, but also when God's chosen people gathered for solemn assemblies, times of mourning and confession. One such example is found in the book of  Ezra, when after the miraculous return of the exiles, many disregarded God's law and allowed intermarriage, planting the seeds of idolatry that was one of the causes for the exile in the first place. Upon discovering this tragedy, Ezra tears his clothes, weeping over the sin of his people. Soon others begin to join him and the public confession of sin and repentance begins.

Without going into too many details and naming people, many of our churches are suffering from leaders and members trapped in the grasp of pornography, addictions,  greed, and a lack of brokenness for the world around us. What should our response be? I believe that a time of public confession, crying out to God for our nation, brokenness over senseless murders on our streets and in our schools, homes divided, and even believers divided.

We need the power of God's Spirit, a cleansing that begins in the house of God. Would that God's people might gather together to mourn over all lives lost and our willingness to offer criticism and blame, but not to actively engage in becoming part of the solution through the power of the Gospel.    I realize that some will misinterpret these intentions, but I believe strongly that part of what is lacking in our worship is a corporate call to repentance and music that can become part of that process.  I would offer this song as part of the process. For those leading worship, feel free to follow this link and use the song in worship, if you so desire.

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