April 12th Sermon Reflection

The Titanic sank 100 years ago after hyping the “Big Lie” — that it was unsinkable.  We take a look at this tragic event, and then move to the epistle reading (1 John 1:1 – 2:2) for today where we learn about another “Big Lie.”  That Big Lie refers to our belief in our own “unsinkability,” spiritually speaking.  The fact of the matter is that all human beings are subject to being “sunk” by their own pride.  On the Second Sunday of Easter, we’ll consider the following three prescriptions for avoiding such a fate:

  1. Be honest: How do you avoid the wreckage of pride?  John encourages his readers to take a good look below deck on a regular basis and get real about the problems and sins that lie within.  Had the Titanic’s company and crew been even just a little more honest about her flaws, they might’ve taken the next step to salvation —
  2. Slow down: They should’ve slowed down before the ship slammed into that iceberg. The Titanic had received several transmissions from other ships that there were ice flows in the vicinity, yet she continued to speed ahead at full throttle.  If we’re going to avoid the sinking effects of sin, it’s important for us to slow down, too, and get real about what’s wrong.  We do that through confession.
  3. Confess: “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).  Confession is the first step toward avoiding disaster because it causes us to identify all the leaks and holes in our lives.  When we confess our sins, we’re being honest with God about who we are and we throw ourselves on the mercy of God’s righteous judgment.  John implies that it’s better for us to confess our sins up front, rather than waiting until they have caused all kinds of collateral damage in others as well.  Better to name all the problems before you leave port, in other words, than wait until you hit an iceberg-like crisis.  Rather than continuing to steam ahead in the dark, John urges us to wait for the light so that we can navigate life safely. “If we walk in light, as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus [God’s] Son cleanses us from all sin” (v. 7).  Confession, in other words, leads us to second chances.

Worship with us this week at 8:30 a.m. (in Sanner Chapel) or at 10:45 a.m.

(in the main sanctuary)