I enjoy word puzzles and in recent weeks have become a bit hooked on the popular WORDLE quiz, now published daily in the New York Times.
Is it a coincidence just how often a word in the morning crossword stays with me through the day by planting an inspiring or encouraging seed? I really mean serendipidy, or even more accurately Godincidences; as the ordinary moments through which God communicates with me.
The answer to yesterday’s NYT Wordle was FOCUS.
The word focus indicates a centre of interest, or having clear vision.
Soon after working out the answer to yesterday’s Wordle I read the scriptures for today and was re-focussed.
In the scriptures we often hear about personal sin, and I tend to become a bit focused on and burdened by my own sin and my struggle to live fully in relationship with Jesus.
Then in today’s first reading in the prayer of Daniel (three chapters earlier he was saved in the lion’s den), after a profound address to God, “Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and have kindness for those who love you and keep your commandments”, Daniel turns not to the painful isolation of his own personal sin, but to the social sin, the shared community failings:
“we have sinned,
we have done wrong,
we have acted wickedly,
we have betrayed your commandments and your ordinances and turned away from them.
We have not listened to your servants the prophets…
Integrity, Lord, is yours; ours the look of shame we wear today.
The evil spirit delights in convincing us that we are alone in our sin. The Spirit of Jesus is reminding us that we are all in the same boat. We are sinners. Even our individual and ‘secret’ sin affects the entire community and therefore every sin is not simply personal but social.
We find the integrity and wholeness we seek when we together, acknowledging our sin, focus on Jesus Christ who makes his home among sinners.
This is my focus for the week.