The New Room is sharing a Friday reflection each week. We hope that these short reflections will act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
Today’s Friday Reflection is by Rev’d David Weeks who is a Chaplain at the New Room. David began volunteering at the New Room when he retired from full time ministry in 2000 and returned to Bristol with his wife Gill. His family links with the New Room go back a long way and he has found family names on the chapel’s membership list from 1757.
Psalm 103 8-12
The graciousness of God in his willingness to forgive our sins is an integral part of our Christian belief. Every time we meet for worship, and often in our private devotions, we ask God to forgive us our trespasses. But what are the sins we want God to forgive?
Some come quickly to mind; unkind words, envy, greed, lust. Often they don’t seem to amount to much. There are even some that we justify to ourselves; everyone thinks that way, everyone does it, we didn’t start it.
Sometimes we remember that other things might be displeasing to God, if he is as we see him in Jesus; the good things we have failed to do. The visit or phone call we continually put off, the generous deed we could have done, the compassionate words we could have spoken. If we include these, we are not as light in our sinning as we thought.
And beyond that, there are many sins that we indirectly commit against our fellows, at home and abroad. There are farmers world-wide who are paid a pittance for the food on our tables. Garment workers work long hours to support their families at less than the minimum wage so that we can buy clothes at bargain prices. We benefit; they suffer.
Movements such as Me Too and Black Lives matter have made us increasingly aware that traditional structures of society such as male privilege and white privilege, structures that we have long accepted have damaged the lives of our fellow human beings. These things we can ignore. But if we take a little time to consider, and learn to listen to the voices of the seldom heard, we realise that our failures are not as insignificant as we thought.
We are indeed in need of a forgiving God.
Forgive us, gracious God, the sins we recognise and feel sorry for; the sins we justify to ourselves; the good we fail to do; the sins committed against our fellow human beings from which we benefit; for all the sins that we would rather not think about.
Forgive us all our sins; give us time for amendment of life; and grant us the help of your Spirit to keep us in the way of Jesus. Amen.