Advent Repentance

John the Baptist is crying out in the wilderness for us to repent, that we might be prepared for the arrival of Jesus in our midst. 

What are your practices of repentance? How do you reflect on your sins, repent, confess, and seek reconciliation and amendment of life? 

For some, this is a frequent spiritual discipline; for others, it only happens when there is a crisis. 

I find the confession from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer a helpful guide to reflect on my own sinfulness. Take some time to pray it; consider each line on its own: when have you strayed? When have you followed the devices and desires of your own heart? When have you violated God’s laws? And on and on… 

ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father;
We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep.
We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts.
We have offended against thy holy laws.
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done;
And we have done those things which we ought not to have done;
And there is no health in us.
But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders.
Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults.
Restore thou them that are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

May each of us seek repentance of our sins, prepare the way of the Lord, and be restored to right relationship with God and our neighbor. 

One comment on “Advent Repentance”

  1. As a child that confession from the ’29 BCP. Its words, to me, meant business, and I took them literally. Thank you Bishop, for sharing.