Or …

I read the Penitential Office in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer this morning (pg. 60). It’s been way too long since my last reading of it. There was a time in my life when I read it weekly. And then I read it weakly. And then, somehow, I forgot about it altogether.

Perusing the prayers, I wondered about the devotional I’m working on. Praise is absolutely a joy to the soul but repentance … that’s a whole other order of magnitude. Envision the scale one sees in pictures of the ‘the scales of justice’ – two platforms balanced against each other. What get weighs will go on one platform or the other; in situations of comparison, weight will be added to both sides until considerations are complete and one is finished adding to both sides. The heavier, or lower-hanging of the two platforms, is the more important of the issues being considered. I wonder if we put Praise on one platform and Repentance on the other platform, which one would be the heavier? Which is more important?

It’s a matter of acknowledging all that God is and has done and is doing and will do and acknowledging our scant merit to receive what is and has and will be given. Should repentance equal the weight of praise so the scale balances; or should the repentance side sag significantly lower? I suspect that each of us must make that decision. I’m not quite certain how I would answer this question for myself. I see the importance of each but are they equally important? I’m not so sure. I know that I am a fallen and broken person but is that more important than praising God for all that He’s given to me?

I’m not sure of the answer. What do you think?


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