My favorite moment in church ministry was April 5th of this year. During a few silent moments during the opening of the church service, we had people anonymously write their personal confessions on a piece of paper. We collected all these writings and selected a good amount of them to be read aloud during Communion.
It was a powerful moment to say the least.
I was one of the readers.
I remember reading confessions of ignoring God, marital unfaithfulness, lack of a desire to be at church, drug abuse, and many other confessions that were hard to read and even harder to say out loud.
Too often we allow church to be a place for people who have it all together. We put on nice clothes, and fake faces. When asked how we’re doing we almost always say, “doing pretty good.” If church can’t be a place for us to be real as a confessing community of sinners in need of grace, then I think we’ve missed the point.
In 1st Corinthians 2:2 Paul says, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
Now obviously Paul teaches more than the cross (all you have to do is read some of 1/2 Thessalonians or 1/2 Timothy to see that), but he can’t talk about all the other things without tying it back to the cross.
Paul’s ultimate confession was always that he was the chief of all sinners: a man unworthy of God’s grace, yet he was given it still. Nothing in Paul’s ministry was done without a focus on the cross and its redemption for even those who are unworthy to touch it.
If a church can truly create a culture of confession it not only allows for grace to be poured out, but it also allows for the cross to take center stage. It is through confession that we experience the power of Jesus Christ and him crucified.