Thursday, February 25, 2016

Worship Involves Confession

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with this Sunday’s Psalm study.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
    and weep before the Lᴏʀᴅ, who made us!
For He is our God,
    and we are the people of His pasture,
    and the sheep of His hand.  (Ps 95:6-7 LXX)

Perhaps you are burning with the consciousness of a fault.  Blot out with tears the flame of your sin.  Mourn before the Lord: fearlessly mourn before the Lord, who made you, for He does not despise the work of His own hands in you.  Do not think that you can be restored by yourself.  By yourself you may fall off, you can not restore yourself.  He who made you restores you.  Weep before Him, confess unto Him, prevent His face in confession.  For who are you who mourns before Him, and confesses unto Him, but one whom He created?  The thing created has no insignificant confidence in Him who created it—and that in no indifferent fashion, but according to His own image and likeness.  But that we may without fear fall down and kneel before Him, what are we?  “We are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”

Augustine, Exposition on Psalm 95

So let us come together with enthusiasm and offer Him due worship and beg for His mercy, weeping and wailing, He being our Maker and Lord.  The history of Josiah and the people instructs us about the tears they shed after the reading of Deuteronomy. [2 Ki 22:11; 2 Ch 34:19]  He is our Lord by nature, and particularly is He our God.  He calls us His own people, and provides care as though for His own sheep.  The Lord Himself also says this after His incomprehensible Incarnation: “My sheep hear my voice,” and again, “I am the good shepherd, and I lay down my life for the sheep,” and so on.

Theodoret of Cyrus

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