Thursday, August 27, 2009

Creating Confessional Community

I love Jesus. I don’t love Him because I’ve always loved Him – I have not. I don’t love Him because I recognise all of His goodness – I do not. I love Him because He first loved me. That love superseded any love I’ve ever experienced and was amazing considering what I’ve done to deserve it and what is on offer.

Part of the journey in exploring His love has been this intriguing word – confess. I’m not going to go into great detail in this blog on it, maybe I’ll develop on it further. Confess, though, is as much positive as it is negative. Confessing Jesus Christ as Lord is not a negative thing. (Unless this is the end and you’re in a position to confess His lordship even if you’ve denied it in your lifetime.) On the whole, though, confession is usually linked with bad stuff, and bad stuff that you own because you gave it birth, raised it and got it married to action and not good consequences.

I’m having a real thought about the importance of creating confessional community because of this verse:

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16)

Sure, check the context. Yeah, go ahead consider the content. Indeed by all means reflect and contemplate on the concept to be found herein. See what conclusion you come to and how you should live. What I get from it, however, is the need to be a part of a confessional community of grace. That level of vulnerability and intimacy is scary stuff and I’m not sure if this is something that your life is meant to be expended on en masse – that surely is not going to happen among hundreds and thousands. It can happen though and that loving community of grace wherein we can support each other in becoming more Christ-like can take place as we’re real about ourselves and each other. We’re real, we are as vulnerable and transparent as we can be within reason.

I am on a journey then to discover more about what a confessional community lives like. I’ll let you know how the journey goes as I go on. In the meantime remembering that our priest now is Jesus and we’re called to a priesthood of believers, this communal expression of confession is crucial to the health of the body of Christ – consider how you practice it.

For His Name's Sake



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