I Confess: A Place Called Belhar, We Are One.
I was surprised how many off-color Confession jokes I found this week
while working on this sermon.
Shame on us.
But here’s one, maybe the cleanest one I could find:
Its about Joe, who was from a tradition that practiced regular confession
and so Joe went up at the appointed time
and he entered the confessional and met with his priest.
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.
I have been wonton with my affection for women. Many women.
“Oh no” says the Priest.
Thinking about how to counsel the young man.
“Tell me, son” he says “Was it with Marie Brown”?
I’d rather not say, Father.
“Well, was it with Betsy Smith?”
I’m sorry Father. I don’t want to besmirch their reputations.
So the Priest offers him absolution and sends him on his way.
Joe leaves, and runs into a good friend as he turns the corner away from the parish.
Hey Joe: how’d it go? Did you receive absolution for your sins?
Why yes, yes I did. And two very, very good leads….
Perhaps the most popular use of the word Confession in our common history
by that I mean the History of the Christian Faith,
its weaving through time, its ups and its downs,
perhaps the most popular use of that word Confession was by Saint Augustine.
Augustine was a giant figure of the early church.
He was born in Northern Africa, near modern day Algeria, in the fourth century,
and he became, perhaps, the most influential scholar of early Christianity.
He wrote about Politics in The City of God.
He explored topics such as the Trinity, Original Sin, and Just War Theory.
Perhaps my favorite thing about Augustine
is that he is the patron saint of
“brewers, printers, theologians, and the alleviation of sore-eyes.”
–That sort of saint could be helpful.
The book he wrote, The Confessions of Saint Augustine, is the best seller of the bunch.
It was largely autobiography.
It told the story of Augustine’s wild and turbulent childhood
his experience of temptation, fall, and Grace
and then his overwhelming experience of the care and compassion of God. [Read more…]