Sounding at least one last note of repentance for this beloved season of Advent before we ramp up to the festivities of Christmas. My boss has done it again with this sermon from a few weeks ago. He did not directly intend this resonance, but I had a phrase from the confession at Anglican Morning Prayer drumming through my head the entire time:
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind In Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
It seems like this phrase from sports is a wonderful and contemporary rephrasing of an old idea of “leaving undone those things we ought to have done.” May this nostalgia for righteousness inspire our upcoming celebrations of the Lord’s birth in our frail human flesh.
“I’d love to have that one back again.” Serious sports fans who watch the post-game interviews will have heard the phrase. Pitchers who let a pitch hang too long so that it was hit for a game-winning home run will say it: “I wish I could have that one back again.” Quarterbacks who under-throw the ball and have it intercepted on the final, losing drive of the game will say it: “I’d love to have that one back again.” Golfers who miss an easy putt that costs them the tournament will say it, too: “I wish I could have that one back again.”
I bet all of us have had times in our life when we would love “to have that one back again.” Maybe it was something we said or something we did. And even though we said it…
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