The word “confession” is pretty closely linked in our minds with criminals. It’s criminals who confess to breaking the law. “Did they confess?” or “Will they confess?” are words that come to mind when someone is arrested.
But if you are Catholic, the word confession brings up other ideas. Confession is an important part of religious practice in the sacrament of penance. You are expected to confess your sins to God, through a priest.
Mennonites don’t talk very much about confession. At least anymore. Some Mennonite congregations used to require people who had committed adultery or other sexual sins to come in front of the congregation and confess their sins. I haven’t heard of many other reasons people were asked to confess publicly. It was a strange practice to single out only one type of sin, and it was a practice that rarely proved to be helpful, as far as I’ve heard.
To “confess” is an important concept in scripture, and an important idea in the history of Christianity, it’s the word we’ll be looking at this Sunday. I confess I haven’t written my sermon yet…
This week’s prayer: Merciful God, help us to be open and honest with you, to confess what needs to be confessed, and to offer you thanks and praise.