We have a time of confession every week, which might seem odd to those whose entire experience of the church is limited either wholly to Roman Catholicism or to your average non-denom. We include it as part of our liturgy because we see it in Scripture, particularly in the way our liturgy is built around Isaiah 6.
After seeing the holiness of God, Isaiah is undone and confesses that he is a man of unclean lips. We do this in our worship every week after we have been called to worship and had a time singing songs of adoration.
It is an unavoidable truth that when we behold a holy God we become so very aware of our uncleanness. It’s there at the beginning in the garden when Adam and Eve hid from God. And it is there today, when we look to God and then look down and see the leprosy that seems to always be there no matter how hard we try to clean it off.
So the time of confession is not only for the unsaved sinner, it is for the saved sinner. Through confession we remember that we are needy creatures but that Jesus is a great Savior. Which leads me to the song we are singing as a part of our time of confession.
We don’t always sing during confession, but it feels appropriate to as we center around the communion table and what the elements mean. And the gospel feast preaches to us all that Christ’s body was broken and His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins to the glory of the Father. And so we will be singing Come Ye Sinners because that is our message every week. Sinner, come and repent and believe. Jesus is able and willing to save.
It is in this moment that we feel the weight of our sin while also knowing that the weight of that sin has been removed from our shoulders and was placed on Christ as He bore the cross. It’s through confession and heading the call to come that we experience the gospel in our worship gatherings. It is here that we are reminded that we can confess without fear of damnation because Christ bore the Father’s wrath in our place. That which was rightfully ours was given to Him and in return we receive pardon and righteousness in the Father’s eyes. We receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to live lives that are empowered by God Himself. To live in such a way that we are made increasingly like our Mediator, that we are made to grow in holiness and to better reflect our Father.
All of this we experience here, as we prepare to walk down the aisle toward the table to receive the elements. As we stop looking at our sin and instead look to the God Who has forgiven us.