The Freedom of Forgiveness / Matthew 9:1-8
Jesus spoke as one with authority, and his miraculous acts of healing validated that authority. But the greatest exercise of authority in his earthly ministry was the audacious act of forgiving sins. For who has power to forgive sins but God alone?
CALL TO WORSHIP
There is no one like our God.
He is the Father of all the living!
In him there is life.
And without him there is no life to be found anywhere.
He is kind and gracious.
Surely he will never turn his face away from his children!
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Who is like you oh God, Father of all the living?
Who is like your Spirit who draws us to your Son?
Who is like your Son who took on flesh that we who are flesh might know you?
Were we once strangers, or worse, children who forgot the love of the Father?
Do we cower and hide, preferring the chains of tiny lit screens to your light?
Do we prefer clean rhetoric to clean hearts, enslaved by the need to self-justify?
Have we been paralyzed by fear? Trapped by the illusion that our failure would be our end?
But you, oh God, are our peace, our freedom.
Our striving finds its end in you.
We sing and are silent.
We sit still and dance for joy.
We cry heavy tears and laugh hearty laughs,
for you do not despise your wayward children.
Indeed, you only come ever further down,
into the darkness of our self-love,
that at the end of ourselves we would find you.