by George Herbert
Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.
“A guest,” I answer’d, “worthy to be here”;
Love said, “You shall be he.”
“I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee.”
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
“Who made the eyes but I?”
“Truth, Lord, but I have marr’d them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.”
“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?”
“My dear, then I will serve.”
“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.”
So I did sit and eat.
One of the blessings of having a liturgy at church is the inclusion of confession in every service. The prayers of confession, right after a reading of a passage in Scripture, bring light to sins which I have not otherwise thought of. As a stay-at-home mom, here is one prayer that has gripped me to the core:
Forgive us, O Lord, for everything that spoils our home life:
for the moodiness and irritability that make us difficult to live with,
for the insensitivity that makes us careless of the feelings of others,
for the selfishness that makes life harder for others.
Forgive us, O Lord, for everything that spoils our witness for you;
that we so often deny with our lives
what we say with our lips;
for the difference between our creed and our conduct,
our profession and our practice;
for any example that makes it easier for people to criticize your church
or for another to sin.
When we think of ourselves and of the meanness
and ugliness and weakness of our lives,
we thank you for Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Grant unto us a true penitence for our sins.
Grant that at the foot of the cross we may find our burdens rolled away.
And so strengthen us by your Spirit that in the days to come
we may live more nearly as we ought.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.