“The forgiveness of sin,” as Claus Harms in one of the most famous theses from the 1817 Reformation Jubilee would say, “still cost money in the Sixteenth Century, in the Nineteenth it is completely free, and everyone freely rewards himself with it.” In the 21st century we have rationalized it away along with a lot of other things so that we don’t sin and so we don’t need forgiveness we just need more self esteem.
Truth be told we need to recognize our sin, recognize our Savior and live in the rhythm of confession and absolution – that means actually hearing someone pronounce us forgiven for the sake of Christ. By God’s mercy I have been forgiven, but the reality of my life is such I need to be told.
I also need to face reality. Just because I look in the mirror and think I see Brad Pitt doesn’t mean I am Brad Pitt. If that kitty in the picture goes out into the world thinking it is what it sees in the mirror harsh reality will soon set in.