All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 (NRSV)
Years ago, our friend Nadean had a little Yorkie named Chanel. Whenever we would visit Nadean, we would bring our Maltese, Chace, and the dogs would play together. Likewise, Nadean would bring Chanel to our house. The only problem is Chanel was a bolter; unless you watched carefully, she would slip around you when the door was open and escape. One evening when they were visiting, we had ordered a pizza, and when the delivery guy came -- you guessed it, Chanel fled. Janice took off after her in her bare feet; afraid Chanel would run on to busy Bay Road. This chase veered across our drive into the wooded wetlands next door, where Janice captured her. When Janice brought the panting dog back to the house, the pizza guy, still waiting to be paid, said, "Lady, you love that dog too much."
We, like Chanel, at times go astray. Unlike Chanel, we sometimes do this unintentionally. We just kind of slip up and get lost. God knows we're not perfect. If God was not already omniscient, heaven knows our wanderings happen with enough frequency; it wouldn't take much to figure it out. But God knew we needed help -- he did, after all, create us. He sent his Son to take on our iniquities. Not for just one group of people, in one time and place but for all people everywhere for all time. That's a lot of sin! When we go astray and call on his name, he comes running to reclaim us.
Lord, we give you thanks for your love. We confess we are sinful people. Even without intending to do so, sometimes think, say, and do harmful things. We give you thanks for sending your Son as the sacrificial lamb, who accepted all of our sins. Lord, we pray now for forgiveness and ask for your help to become more perfect. We pray this in the name of your most Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Amen