Writing a Prayer of Confession

It is not often that I confess in writing. Most often, I confess verbally.

There is something different about putting your sins down on paper. Seeing the words on the page makes them more tangible and seem more ugly. The sheet of paper is filled up with things of which I am not proud in my life. Yet, it is also cleansing. There is something powerful in naming the places where I have messed up and am in need of God’s grace.

I have written a prayer of confession on Ash Wednesday for thirteen years. Sometimes, it seems, that I find myself writing some of the same things from year to year. All too often, I seem to cling unintentionally to some of the thoughts, words, and actions which separate me from God and other people. There are areas where God has been at work to help me make progress and there are new areas which I have not found necessary to confess in years past. All of this is part of the journey of going on toward perfect love of God and neighbor.

Each of the years that I have written my prayers in this way, I have also had the opportunity to place them in a fire to be burned. This is a cleansing ritual and helps me begin the journey toward Easter. I am so glad to be on this journey again.

Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Repent and believe the gospel.

Evolution, Creation and Christianity

I got another great question from Nelson who had previously asked about Sex, Gender and the Bible. I must say some good questions all around. So here goes.

How do you respond to someone who asserts that it is impossible to believe in both evolution and creation?

First, let me define terms. By evolution, I am referring to the belief that species adapt and change over time and according to natural selection may become different species. By creation, I am referring to the belief that God created all things from nothing.

Both non-believers and deeply committed Christians may believe that evolution and creation are compatible or that they are incompatible. There is certainly not consensus among Christians on this issue.

I do not believe that creation and evolution are incompatible. I believe that God created all things, but do not rule out the possibility that God may have also created evolution as a part of the goodness of creation. I think that the beauty of creation is evidence of God’s work with or without evolution.

For me the question of compatibility or incompatibility of evolution and creation is not the core of my Christian faith. I would suggest that you first engage people in conversation around the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and what this means for your life as a way of shifting the conversation from the the perceived conflict of evolution and creation

God is big. Bigger than the boxes that we construct.