in Catechesis, Sermons

Lenten Catechesis V 2012 – Confession

Psalm 132 (antiphon: v. 13)
Office Hymn:  426 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
OT: 2 Sam 11:2-5,14-17,26-12:7,13-14
Ep: James 5:13-20
Gospel: Jn 20:19-23
Catechetical Hymn: 610 Lord Jesus, Think On Me

Summary: Confession is perhaps the simplest of the six chief parts of our faith. One, we confess and two, we are absolved. Yet, it is still a mystery. God reconciles us to Himself by the shedding of the blood of His very Son. Indeed, the Holy Trinity is responsible for confession from start to finish. The Spirit grants faith to trust the Word, the Word works contrition and repentance, Christ’s does the work of atoning, and the Word of Absolution forgives.

In the Lutheranism of today, individual confession between penitent and pastor has all but disappeared, despite nearly 500 years of catechesis from Luther teaching young and old to receive this gift. Why? Is the general confession before the Divine Service a suitable replacement? Is it the fear of being too Roman Catholic? Is it pride? Is it fear? Or is through lack of knowledge or experience? In most cases, it is a little bit of each.

Despite our disuse, personal, private, or individual confession and absolution is a tremendous blessing for the Christian. It is all about God calling you to repentance and God forgiving you. It is all about receiving salvation and life. It is all about Christ’s blood absolving you again of every sin. Confession is all about Jesus forgiving you.