Daniel 9:15-25a

          Today’s Old Testament reading continues Daniel’s prayer of confession from yesterday.  Reading through this prayer is like having a privileged glimpse into one of the most beloved persons in all of Scripture by God.  Indeed, while Daniel was praying the angel Gabriel came and communicated to him that “you are greatly loved.”  Daniel’s prayer is at the same time grand and majestic, yet humble and simple.  It would be a worthy activity to take this prayer and write one’s own confession based upon it.
             Too many times in our lives we feel the misguided notion to hide our sin.  We want to look good to others, so we take pains to make the outward appearance godly and attractive.  We may be careful in only letting another see our good side.  We might even do this with God by failing to pray and confess sin.  In doing so, we inevitably neglect the vast interior life.  But Daniel was greatly loved not because he had it all together, but because he was sensitive to sin and was courageous to bring it before God.
             It is easy to have delusions of grandeur about doing great things for God and being a leader among God’s people.  The hard work is one of prayer, particularly confession.  And the consequences of sin are not always magically erased.  But the mercy of God becomes operative and guides us into truth and grace toward ourselves and others.
             Merciful God, listen to my plea for the gospel of grace to take root in my inner self.  Incline your ear to listen to me and grant me forgiveness that leads to new life in Christ in order that I might stand in the gap and intercede for others.  Be gracious to your church and bring healing to all wounded by her neglect of mercy.  Amen.

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