All God requires, Scot says, is that we tell him the truth about ourselves. About what we have done and failed to do. Unlike Adam, not covering our sins and ourselves, in attempting to hide from God. But uncovering our sins and true selves before him. When we do that, our sins in a true sense, to God, are beside the point. He has what he wants. Our expression of faith in him, in this truth telling. And in Christ, he has provided, and provides for us his embracing grace. This is why some of the times I have sensed the Lord's nearness the most, were times of genuine repentance on my part.
The Litany of Penitence from The Book of Common Prayer (1979) is a good prayer to say on a regular basis. Here is part of it:
We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed; by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.Within this prayer is what all such prayers require: after thorough confession there is the request for God's mercy, and then the promise of God's grace and forgiveness in Christ.
To tell the truth about ourselves involves, in Scot's words: "searching the cracks of the Eikon" to find the truth about ourselves. I think of the prayer of the psalmist (139):
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;I want to take this personally always and deal with sin. In Christ and by grace we can master it (cf., God's word of warning to Cain in Genesis and Romans 6). But this attitude must be ongoing. I know that's true. I must continue to be open to seeing and then telling the truth about myself. Then I can know that enlivening by God's embrace.
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
How do we avoid confessing our sins, and why do we do this? Is it good to say these prayers (such as The Litany of Penitence) together as God's people on a regular basis, and why?