If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (KJV) 1 John 1:9
In March of 2005, Mark McGwire, ex-professional baseball player and home-run hitter extraordinaire, appeared before the Congress of the United States. When he was asked to address the subject of his having used steroids, he told them, "I'm not here to talk about the past."
Apparently, something has changed because Mark McGwire is now doing just that.
He has confessed to the news media that he was using steroids and human growth hormones in 1998 when he broke the previous single-season home run record of Roger Maris.
He has confessed that same thing to his wife, his son, his parents.
He has made his confession to the widow and family of Roger Maris.
He has made a confession to the general public.
Immediately after the TV cameras stopped rolling, the commentators began to evaluate the confession of Mark McGwire.
For some his confession was too late; for others it was too little, and for yet others the confession seemed insincere. For some, McGwire's confession smacked of an attempt to get elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; others maintain this confession was the price he had to pay to work as a hitting coach with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.
As for me, when Mark McGwire was done crying and confessing, he looked more like a hero to me than he ever had as a home run hitter.
Of course, some will ask, "How do you know he was sincere?" I don't. But it's not my job to judge sincerity. That belongs to God, and the Lord knows McGwire's heart.
But I will hope and pray the confession was real. After all, if we confess our sins, the Lord has promised to be faithful and just and gracious and forgive us those sins.
So we might be forgiven is why Jesus was born; so we might be forgiven, the Savior carried our sins to the cross.
If that forgiveness belongs to Mark McGwire -- like it belongs to so many of us who have been called to confession and the Christ -- I will thank the Lord.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, for having sent the Holy Spirit to call me to faith in the Christ, I give thanks. Now I pray that others may also fall to their knees in heartfelt confession. Then, having made confession, may they be told to rise up -- forgiven and free. In Jesus' Name, I ask this. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries