I have never really been that good at confession.
Always found it odd to see people in the movies go to confession in the catholic church. That was usually the time in the movie that the we learned some juicy details about the plot or began to unravel the mystery of the story. Also wondered…what did the priest do with all that information? I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that priests are the writers of some our current sitcoms. Do people really confess everything to the priest in those little closets?
A couple of weeks back I started leading kind of an impromptu Wednesday night service for our non-denominational church during this season of Lent. Last week I included a corporate confession of our sins during the service, which I stole from my new favorite book The Book of Common Prayer. This is what we said…
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against thee
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved thee with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we earnestly repent.
For the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in thy will,
and walk in thy ways,
to the glory of thy Name. Amen.
Anyway, as I have dug into this Lenten process…I have realized it is so much more than giving up something like junk food or chocolate. Saying and thinking through the words of that confession woke me up. Evidently it moved a few others because last week one of them sent me an article that I need to share with you. This is an excerpt from that article written by Ruth Haley Barton (the whole article)…
“Confession is good for the soul—and everyone around us. Without the ability to face ourselves honestly and confess not only our sin and bad behaviors but also the shadow that drives them, we become dangerous to one another in the human community. We project our own darkness onto others rather than dealing with the darkness within ourselves and the weight of that is too much for any of us to bear. Lent is the season for coming out of the shadows and coming clean.”
That makes a lot sense to me. It is extremely easy to see how the sins of others does damage to the innocent in their lives and how for some reason they don’t see it. Men seem to have a real knack for this. Not that women don’t sin or have a need to confess…I just see it easier in the men. More than likely because I think like they do. I know there are a number of different beliefs on how you are to confess and who you are to confess to…not really wanting to debate that here.
Just want to say…I am beginning to see the sin in my life, and feel the need to confess. Do you?