We take time in our service every week to confess sin before the Lord. Each of us could all do it at home, before the service, all by ourselves and that would be good. It’s good to confess individual sins individually to the Lord whenever we sin.
What if each of us actually did that? What if we all showed up all confessed up? What if this exhortation was blue on black, if it dug up no fresh dirt, if it suggested nothing new for any of us to confess? Should we still do it? Would it still have a purpose?
The hypothetical situation, of course, is academic, not actual. Odds are that someone here has some sin that needs confessing, maybe even in the car ride from home. But why not make it a point to get people confessing pre-service? One reason is because it pictures the gospel. It reminds us that fellowship comes from forgiveness and forgiveness requires confession. We believe that and we enact that every week in our confession. But we also have this time because we have corporate sin to confess.
Should you think about your sin during this time, or the sin of others? You should first take the log out of your own eye. And yet if you never consider the sin of others then you haven’t considered your connection to them. We ought not think about the sin of our neighbor in order to blame them, look down on them, or compare ourselves to them. But we remember that we are connected to each other. When one member sins, the whole body suffers. When one citizen sins, more guilt gets on the nation.
When I pray after giving persons time to pray, I pray for groups, for our country, for Christ’s Bride, and for our local body. We’re in this together, and we confess our sins together.