Admissions and Confessions

It was a stark and disquieting day – the day he admitted that he didn’t really believe in Jesus.

He admitted it as he was reading the Bible and all he could think about were the questions he had swirling around in his head.  The scripture said, “whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”  He admitted that he wasn’t particularly interested in being servant of anyone, much less of everyone.

He admitted it as he thought about all the questions he had about how the Holy Spirit worked through the waters of baptism and the bread and wine of Communion.

He admitted it as he thought about how on the surface he appeared to be a very ‘good’ Christian.  However he knew very well that underneath that very thin veneer there was a man who lived stingily and cautiously, and not like someone who really ever believed in a gospel of transformation.

He admitted that if he was truthful with himself, he didn’t want to give away his hard-earned money to the poor.  Sure, he desired to help the starving children in Africa – but honestly, he really, really desired a flat-screen plasma television.

He admitted that any shred of faith he had now was completely unrecognizable from the faith he had as a child or even as a younger adult.

He thought that admitting all these things might spin his faith off into some void, that he might somehow become lost forever in a sea of agnostics and atheists with no way back.

Rather, it led him back home again.   His admissions, his confessions, reminded him why he so desperately needed a Savior.  By refusing to just play the part of a Christian anymore, he was coming closer to being the real thing than he had in a long time.

 

Bedtime Prayer

Bedtime Prayer

She laid down that night in her quiet bed

A myriad of prayers swirled around in her head.

And as she settled into her pillow and began to pray

These are the things she decided to say:

“Dear Lord, I thank you that I’m not like the rest

I thank you that I understand how much I’ve been blessed.

I thank you for my brain and my strength and my heart

I thank you for my willingness to often do my part.

And so there are just a few things I want to request tonight

Because I’ve been fairly faithful, adequately contrite.

I pray that you make me care for others just enough –

Just enough so that others won’t call my bluff

I pray that you give me strength to work hard –

Hard enough so that others give me regard.

And I only pray for money because I want to give so much

And of course I would like some new clothes and such.

Please bless your children all around –

But especially those of us in this little town.

Help us to follow you and do your will

Especially if it isn’t too difficult to fulfill.

And Lord, finally I have one last request

There’s one last thing I’d merely like to suggest:

You have given me so many gifts to share –

I’m a natural leader, I’m kind, and I care!

I’m able to follow your Word pretty well;

At witness, forgiveness, and humility, I excel!

Oh, the magnificent things I will accomplish, all for Thee –

If you’ll only help others notice the greatness in me!

Then she ended her prayer with “Amen” and a frown.

Because in her head one nagging thought still circled ‘round

“Dear God, by the way, you didn’t really mean it, right?

That the last

will be first of all

in your sight?