Tuesday, December 8, 2009

National Day of Confession

Bible study this morning was Psalm 79.  I was struck by how little confession and repentance there was in this psalm calling on God to remove his judgement from the land.  As I thought about that I began to think that we would be well served with some public confession and repentance, both as a church and as a nation.

I wondered if there was any precedence for this.  It turns out that there is.  Abraham Lincoln declared April 30, 1863 a national day of confession and fasting.  I'm even more impressed with Lincoln, as a man and a president, after reading the declaration he wrote.  This is during the middle of the Civil War.

I suggest that pastors around the nation should teach on confession (including repentance and forgiveness) leading up to the day.  I suggest that individuals, congregations, denominations, and the ecumenical Body of Christ should discuss our sins leading up to the day.  And on that day I want to see all of us confessing our sins (both individually and in our various groups) and asking forgiveness.

I could put on my Amos hat and tell you which sins I would like to see confessed (bonus points for you if you thought of this article.)  But I don't feel like God is wanting me to guide that part of the process.
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." - Matthew 5:23-24
We have a National Day of Prayer (May 6, 2010.)  I propose that we should have a separate National Day of Confession.  April 30 worked for Lincoln.  That date seems good to me, too.  If anything, our prayers on May 6th would be more likely to be heard shortly after a good dose of confession.

April 30th is also:  National Honesty Day,  National Oatmeal cookie day,  Mr. Potato Head Day, and Raisin Day.  But May 6 is also National Hoagie Day, National Beverage Day, National Teacher's Day, National River Clean Up Day, American Lung Association Birthday, School Family Day, Beverage Day, Willie May's Birthday, International No Diet Day , and National Nurse's Day.  So that doesn't bother me at all.

What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment