Confession, Memory, and Hope
Dear Kaleid Women,
Good morning to you! How are you? Have you been noticing the tangible rhythms in your life as symbolic of God’s deeper gifts this week? On our team, we have viewed our coffee mugs and sun-lit dust bunnies with a little more awe and gratitude because they have reminded us of the gracious presence of God with us.
We begin today’s reflection on “habits as formational” with this quote: “Two of life’s best gifts are memory and hope.”* As human beings, we have the (sometimes difficult) gift of being able to look back and look ahead. This can mean that we battle hard with regret and anxiety. As Christians, it also means that we celebrate redemption and re-creation in our memories and hopes. Following Jesus means that we allow His presence to craft the lenses through which we look back and look ahead. What a gift!
A powerful habit that forms our heart toward worship is the habit of confession. Confession, as Madame Guyon put it, is the trusting process of letting God expose sin even as we “Lay [our] entire soul open before God.”**
Confession is the Holy-Spirit-inspired activity that reminds us that God, through Christ’s love, keeps no account of our sin. God, through Christ’s love, touches wounds in our memory and gives power to our hope. God, through Christ’s love, works on us even as we simply open our hearts to the light of His redemptive exposure.
Confession and its inevitable and profound flipside, absolution, allow us to let go of regret and anxiety so that we can rest - today - with our memories and hopes held carefully by the author of the world’s grand story of grace.
Confession reminds us of Jesus’ incarnational work that heals past wounds, provides today’s bread, and accomplishes future resurrection. Confession allows us to carry that good story with us into the world we inhabit. It helps us tell God’s story to the people our world. And so we worship.
May we take time to practice the powerful habit of confession.
Journaling Questions for This Week:
Think about your history with God and the Church. How have you traditionally practiced confession? What does the idea of confession bring up for you, in terms of memories, feelings, desires, questions, etc.?
Sit with God for ten minutes, and invite the presence of the Holy Spirit to lay your soul bare before God. As you sit pray the prayer of Bartimaeus from Mark 10, “Jesus Christ, Son of David, have mercy on me.” What does the loving light of God reveal to you?
When you are done, copy this prayer of the church into your journal and underline the words that stand out to you. “God, the Father of mercies, has reconciled the world to himself through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ, not counting our trespasses against us, but sending his Holy Spirit to shed abroad his love among us. By the ministry of reconciliation entrusted by Christ to his Church, receive his pardon and peace to stand before him in his strength alone, this day and evermore. Amen.”
The Kaleid Team
* Witlivet in forward to Robert Webber’s Ancient-Future Worship, p. 9.
** Guyon, Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, p. 73.