Although Israel’s rebellion against God occurred thousands of years ago, humanity has not ceased to carry that rebellion on throughout the generations. If we’re being honest with ourselves, we all have turned our backs on God at one time or another. Our idols might look different than they did during Isaiah’s time, but they are there non-the-less. I think the fact that they are not golden calves or Asherah poles makes them harder to recognize. But anytime we put something before God, anytime we turn to someone or something other than God to meet our needs-give us purpose-fulfill us-deliver us, then we are practicing idolatry.
Take a moment and consider the idols which exist in your life. What pulls you away from God? What are you placing before God? What, other than God, has power over your life?
The following is a Prayer of Confession from the United Methodist Book of Worship. We recite this prayer once a month as part of our Holy Communion liturgy. I offer this prayer to you today for your own personal use. I have changed the collective “we” and “our” in the original prayer to the singular “I” and “my” for this purpose. And remember, as Isaiah writes so eloquently, “Though your sins be like scarlet;they shall be as white as snow.”
Merciful God, I confess that I have not loved you with my whole heart.
I have failed to be an obedient servant.
I have not done your will.
I have broken your law.
I have rebelled against your love.
I have not loved my neighbors.
I have not heard the cry of the needy.
Forgive me, I pray.
Free me, for joyful obedience.
Through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.