Our liturgical worship here is intentional—but there are two ways this can go. One is that you can “learn the drill,” and go through the motions while your heart and mind are off somewhere else. The other is that you can learn the liturgy so that you can use it as an instrument to focus your attention on the one we are worshiping. C.S. Lewis compared it to learning the steps to a new dance. At first it is awkward—you are not dancing, just doing rudimentary math. One, two, three, one, two, three.
But once you learn the steps you can use that as an expression of your pleasure in the one you are dancing with. Unfortunately, someone who has learned the steps can go through the motions with his dance partner, all while thinking about the other girls in the room.
It is the same kind of thing with our worship here. We need the disciplines of confession. But we also need to believe God is really forgiving us, and that we are in a true relationship with Him.
I say all this because I want to explain a change we have made in the order of our songs. Scripture gives us many examples of penitential psalms, and so we thought we needed an appropriate place to place our singing of them. So you will notice that we now have a psalm placed between this exhortation and our confession of sin. This means that we have taken one song away from the close of the sermon, and will go straight from the Lord’s Prayer to the offertory.
All this is done in order to help us focus, and not to help us wander. With that in mind, let us compose our hearts for confession by singing.