Sermon for the Sunday Next before Lent (19 Feb. 2023) The LORD asked Abraham: “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Can I really have a baby when I’m old?’ ‘Is anything impossible for the LORD? At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son’. Sarah denied it. ‘I did not laugh’, she said, because she was afraid. But he replied, ‘No, you did laugh’.” Sarah’s sin here is that she not only mocked what the LORD was saying, she then lied to Him about doing so. We insult God and do a disservice to ourselves when we do not fully confess or own up to our sins. Like the animal presented for sacrifice, our sins must be laid naked, bare, and exposed upon the altar, so that it can be entirely consumed by the flames. Animal sacrifices were for the benefit of the nation and not for the care and feeding of God, as other religions treat their idols. Likewise, confession is for our benefit, God already knows and loves His children despite the knowledge of all their sin. You see this play out in things like therapeutic psychology, where if you’re trying to overcome a fear, they will increasingly expose you to that fear until you are able to conquer it. The exact opposite of what people nowadays think they are achieving through avoidance methods like trigger warnings. But this is how we are to treat sin; we must continuously expose ourselves to the whole, unadulterated truth of our sins in confession to overcome them with the help of the Holy Ghost.