image via Max Pixel
Dear Lord God, I cannot count the sins that I have done and still do.
I have forgotten most of them and no longer feel my guilt.
All that is in me and all power that is not grace is sin and is condemned.
My works and my powers only make me despondent.
I do not know what else to do but to hope and pray for your mercy.
As grace and faith control me, I am devout through Christ.
Where these fail me, I know and confess that nothing good is left in me.
No matter how long I live, it will never be different.
If I had the holiness of all monks,
there would still be nothing good in what I think, speak, live, and do,
if it did not have your divine grace and power.
All my sins are forgiven out of pure grace.
This is the joy and comfort which you gladly grant to me,
a poor sinner.
Martin Luther, 1483 – 1546, German Reformer
When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.