In her book, Talking the Walk: Letting Christian Language Live Again, Marva Dawn encourages the church to embrace the rich vocabulary of faith. She laments that many words, once rich and full of meaning, have been neglected or watered down.
On this first day of 2010, I am reflecting on Marva Dawn’s discussion of confession. She quotes (p. 66) two of Cornelius Plantinga’s parodies of contemporary confessions–
“Let us confess our problems with human relational adjustment dynamics, and especially our feebleness in networking.”
“I’d just like to share that we just need to target holiness as a growth area.”
And she contrasts these “confessions” with the following from The Lutheran Book of Worship —
“Almighty God, we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.”
As I spend time in 2010 with God and God’s people, I want to be more honest in confessing sin. I want to reclaim not only the power of the word “confess,” but also the power of the act of confession.