This morning as we lead into a time of confession I want to remind us about something we already know. It’s that we have incredible access to all kinds of information.
And that’s nothing new. People have been saying that for 20 years — it’s just that the access has only increased, and continues to increase, as our devices become more wearable and body-integrated.
And so what’s happened is that this access to information has created what some have called an “information smog.” Everywhere we go we’re surrounded by headlines. There’s always news and updates, either from our “friends” or from happenings around the world. And this has become so normal for us, I think a lot of times we don’t stop and realize about what this is like.
But for your imagination, think about Charlie Brown and his friend Pig-Pen. He’s the character who always has that cloud of dirt around him. Everywhere he goes, there is a circle of dust around him.
Yeah, that’s kind of like how it is for us. We’re like Pig-Pen, except it’s not dirt and dust, it’s news and updates.
And it’s not just news and updates, it’s news and updates that are not necessarily trustworthy. What if it’s fake news and updates?
I was listening to a podcast a few weeks ago that said because of technology’s ability to manipulate media forms, our society is headed toward the “plausible deniability” of all information — which eventually means that new information becomes more about buying stories than hearing reports. And when that happens, people will prefer the slants that make them most comfortable, and they’ll cast suspicion on whatever rubs them the wrong way, and it will only deepen the entrenchments that exist in our country.
And look, I don’t know if that’s true. Maybe this is already happening, or maybe it’s just doomsday talk— I don’t know. And I don’t really care, because here’s the thing that is true no matter what. It’s that:
As a Christian in this world, in this society, you cannot make it without the word of God.
The Bible is breathing in fresh air for our souls when everything else is smoke.
The Bible is the glass of clear, clean water when all the other glasses have stuff floating in them. The Bible is the spoon full of pure honey when all the other honey is smothered by a hover of fruit flies.
And so this morning I’m exhorting us that we must avail ourselves to the fresh air, clean water, and pure honey of the word of God. In other words, Christian, brother, sister, read your Bible. Get the word of God in your head and in your heart.
And this reminds us of our need to confess our sins.
Prayer of Confession
Father, you are a God who speaks, and you speak that we might know you and have fellowship with you, and you have give us you words in the pages of Holy Scripture. We have your voice.
And it’s perfect, Father, reviving our souls.
It’s sure, making wise the simple.
It’s right, rejoicing the heart.
It’s pure, enlightening the eyes.
It’s clean, enduring forever.
Father, your word is true and righteous altogether. It’s more valuable than all the money in the world and it tastes better than the most exquisite meal. And we know that you do not change us or effect in us your will apart from your Word. So we ask that you would forgive us for how often we neglect it. Forgive us, please Father, for how we tend to prefer the information smog over your glorious truth. Forgive us for how we salivate over our Facebook feeds but find ourselves bored with the testimonies of your glory. A thousand years from now we’ll look back and be so confused. So have mercy on us, God. Please. Have mercy on us now for this sin and for other sins as we confess them to you in silence …
Now, Father, we remember the Word made flesh. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you that he is the revelation of your heart for us, that he is the definitive showcase of your glory in grace and mercy. Thank you that in Jesus, because of his death and resurrection for us, your strength overcomes our weakness and that your light overcomes our darkness, and the gospel anthem rings true: we are not dead, but alive; we are not lost, but found; we are not your enemies, but we are your sons and daughters. Thank you, Father, in Jesus’s name, amen.