Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
"God is light and in Him is no darkness." What does that mean? Light is a symbol of purity, holiness and clarity of truth. In God is the perfection of all these things. As we sing in the hymn:
Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see.
Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee.
Perfect in power, in love and purity.
Also, we confess in the liturgy:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are filled with the majesty of Thy glory.
In Him there is no darkness in God means no sin, corruption, ignorance, or anything bad. God never changes. As He was in the beginning, so He is now, and will be forever. Therefore, we can trust God's promises, especially the promise of eternal life for those who believe and are baptized.
But there is darkness in us. In us there is sin, corruption, ignorance and more. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, each of us is destined for physical death. So I tell you in the imposition of ashes: Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return.
The old Adam, ie sinful human nature, will die. But we may live now and forever in the light of God because of the blood of Jesus.
"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."
Our conduct must be the evidence of the faith that has made us children of the light and enables us to walk as children of light, according to the pleasure and will of God. If we live a holy and righteous life, with the help of the Holy Spirit, some good things will result.
First, we can be sure not only of communion with our brothers and sisters in faith here and now, but also with the blessed apostles and Christians of all times and places. In addition, we can be sure of communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
At the same time, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. The weaknesses and imperfections of our earthly lives do not matter, we have forgiveness of our sins.
Today we begin the 40 days of Lent, the season to reflect on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross, in anticipation of the joy of Easter Sunday. Every Sunday we begin the divine service with the public confession of our sins and receive absolution and the body and blood of Christ in the sacrament. To prepare for Sunday above all Sundays, this evening's service is a service of confession only.
"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
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