The Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Confess your sins to one another… — James 5:16
This little exhortation by James is at the center of Christian faith. Confessing one’s sins begins before we enter the water’s of baptism. “Repent and be baptized!” (Acts 2:38) We are called at the very beginning of the journey of following Jesus to identify with our sin… we are called to acknowledge our complicity and guilt. This is the narrow gate that leads to life and why it is so hard to “find” it.
But this is not meant to be simply a one time affair; rather we are taught by Jesus to confess this daily—forgive us our sins as we forgive others. It may be fairly said that confession is the Way to Life! It is a discipline that cultivates the primary virtue required for a holy life—humility—a recognition and acknowledgement of the truth about ourselves.
As we prepare for Sunday, I invite you to read (and reread if necessary) this quote by Adrienne von Speyr (1902–1967: physician, mystic, author) on the nature of confession:
For only persons who look directly into the face of their own sins will discover that connection which is far more than a mere parallelism between fate and faultiness that is present in the consciousness of most people. On the one hand they see their distorted situation and their difficult fate, and on the other hand they see themselves, certainly with some short-comings. But we see the unity between the two only when God himself holds the mirror before us—if we have the courage to look into that mirror. The mirror God holds before us, however, is his incarnate Son who became like us in everything except sin. Thus whoever would learn how to confess must first look at the life of the Son of God; there he will learn what confession is, what the intention of confession is and how confession functions.
See you on Sunday!