"If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 NRSV
For relaxation in the evening, Janice and I like to watch crime dramas. The plot is usually something list this, after looking at the evidence, and exploring the alibis of the suspects, they conclude with the prime suspect in the interrogation room. The interrogator often promises that they will be treated with leniency if they confess Sometimes, but not often, the person so troubled by guilt confesses to the crime. Usually, though the person tries their best to deny responsibility. After years of watching these shows, we have gotten pretty good at identifying the guilty party.
To place context to today's scripture, we need to look at verses 5-10. It begins with "God is light". In God, there is, no sin, no darkness, only light. Conversely, darkness, sin, is the absence of light. There is no gray! We are either in the light or in sin, absent from the light. We cannot claim to be followers of Christ, professing to live in the light, while still living in sin. If we say to ourselves we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves. By our very natures, we are sinful, but there is hope. In the verse for today, we receive the assurance that in confessing our sins to God we will be forgiven. Those deeds that hinder us from a right relationship with God will be washed away when we admit to our sin. It is through this ongoing act of repentance and reconciliation with God that we remain in the light. Unlike the guilty suspect in the crime dramas, hoping for leniency from the court, God wipes our records clean when we ask his forgiveness.
God, we give you thanks for your light in the darkness. We know your desire for us is to live in your light. We admit our sinful nature and ask you for forgiveness for those deeds we knowingly and unknowingly have committed. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.