James 5:16 says “Confess your sins one to another.” The call to confess communally is not about receiving forgiveness but rather about recognizing ourselves of needing the forgiveness of others. The act of confession is one of humility and vulnerability, it is letting go of our pride and selfishness and entering new life. It is not enough to tell God of our faults and sins, we must seek out those whom we have hurt and become divided from and confess to them. Only when we confess and humble ourselves before one another can we find true communion with each other and with God. Diedrich Bonhoeffer when discussing confession in his book Life Together concludes by saying: “Here [at the Lord's Table] the community has reached its goal. Here joy in Christ and his community is complete. The life of Christians together under the Word has reached its perfection in the sacrament.” For him, as it should be for us, confession is something that allows us to recognize grace and God in one another, as we live into truth and liberation from the things that keep us apart.
This week’s Lenten Wednesday worship will look at Confession, and we ask that you come considering the things that you may need to confess to others in your life. There will be a time in this worship to privately, yet publicly recognize our need to participate in this discipline and we hope you will join us for this powerful service of community.
We hope that you will continue to practice the discipline of Confession
this week. Here are some creative ways and ideas to practice Confession: