No this is not some special quiz that is given only during Lent or a special medical test that doctors perform during this season. Instead, it describes the practice of intentionally setting aside time for the regular examination of our conscience and our consciousness as discussed by Marjorie Thompson in “Learning Forgiveness: A Lenten Study” from The Thoughtful Christian.
This week we explored the role of these dual examinations as we begin with looking inward and outward as a foundation for our learning about forgiveness.
For examination of conscience we explored Psalm 51 with the familiar cry of “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.” (51:1) The idea that we must look honestly on our lives and lift to God in prayer our sins . . . the things we have done and the things we have left undone.
We explored the reality that we must open ourselves to God and realize that it is not possible for us to earn forgiveness and instead we must totally rely on God’s grace and mercy. In the end, “The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (51:17)
The exploration of examination did not end with looking inward, but also looked at the importance of examining our consciousness as we experience the wonder of God’s creation around us. Psalm 139 served as the model for how we can do this as we acknowledge, “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.” (139:7-8)
This week we were challenged to honestly consider who we are and what we have done, as we continue to learn about forgiveness. It was wonderful to hear the perspectives and ideas of the conversation group as together we strive to faithfully serve God.
Join us as we continue this conversation on Thursday mornings at 10:00am in the Fellowship Hall as part of our ongoing Coffee, Cookies and Conversation series.
Crossposted from: Lenten Examination