In recent years, I have begun to appreciate how highly God thinks of the Day of Atonement. Without consecration and self-reflection, the Levitical Priests would not be in the position to observe major feasts such as the Passover or the Feast of Tabernacles. It is just like celebrating the birthday of one’s father: should one take it as a matter of routine – buying a cake and taking photos, caring not what the father wants or needs, and even ignoring grudges? Likewise, before we receive grace and mercy from God as we come before Him, we must know His heart and align ourselves with Him.
Two months ago, I had the prompting that it was not enough to spend merely one day on the Day of Atonement this year. May it be influence from the overall situation of Hong Kong or, my understanding of coworkers, I was impressed to align the life of the steering committee and co-workers with the Tree of Life. To begin, we did 3-days fasting before observing the Day of Atonement. In this way, everyone was well-prepared. All co-workers, from the top to the lowest ranks, made deep sin confession before God.
Sin, if allowed to stay in our lives, turns bitter and even starts to stink. Sin confession is to clear up the sewage in our life. When the light of God shines in our lives, repentance shall come forth. Has God abandoned me? From human weakness, I would shift the problem onto God, accusing Him of showing favoritism because I didn’t confess sins. Unless we repent and are willing to confess sins and be cleansed by God’s living water, the sewage remains in us. Therefore, repentance is the key. Are we in repentance? God surely is Love. However, as we are bound by sins, we do not feel the love of God and even to blame Him.
Lately, I have been especially moved by sin confession and repentance. He who is unable to give thanks deeply is unrepentant, and the outcomes of his repentance will be insignificant. Most often, a couple is not truly repentant to one another, nor does each consider themself at fault. They give casual and perfunctory apology, which is hardly comforting to the other party.
Sin puts a heavy weight on us. Only repentance reveals the truth to us, and brings forth sin confession that turns sewage into sweet water. The joy that follows overflows to people around us. Thanksgiving is not just lip service, but comes from the bottom of one’s heart. May all my children truthfully deal with our own sins so that our eyes shall be opened, may sweet water overflow even more and more. (22 September, 2019) •