Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
One of the failures of the Church has been to reduce the meaning of ‘sin’ to ‘doing bad things’ - rather than acknowledging the systematic brokenness and disconnnection that the word represents in Scripture. We have reduced it to ‘I am very bad and I have been very wicked’ rather than ‘all things suffer from the disconnection from the Divine, from one another, from the created order’ concept that finds its resonance in the Bible. When we confess our sins as part of our worship, we are acknowledging our complicity in the structures which hurt ourselves, others, and our relationships with God and God’s world and we seek healing and forgiveness - the wholeness of Shalom - with God’s help.
That being said, we need also to confront that within is which is broken and needs healing - that from which we need to, are called to, turn - or ‘repent’ and seek God’s Spirit to bring new life.
The psalmist captures this with a deep acknowledgement of the sin which weighs them down, various artists have tried to capture that hope for healing and living the life of the Spirit - including this musician, Charlie Peacock. Here’s his musical offering of a ‘modern Psalm’.