I can’t begin to count the number of times I have attended church and been inspired to think, or act, in response to a powerful sermon. But this Sunday, it was another part of worship that stayed with me long after the benediction. So today, I’m going to talk about a less celebrated element of worship: the confession.

Many faith traditions skip confession entirely, but I have long felt a holy affirmation when I participate thoughtfully. Then, during worship this past weekend, I was prompted to think about ‘corporate confession’ in a way that dovetails with one of my core beliefs about humanity.

Regular readers have heard me say this time and again, but it bears repeating: I believe we are all wrong at least half the time — me in particular. Yet we live in this cultural … political … religious moment where people seem to be obsessed with being right; not just that, but also obsessed with the other guy being wrong.

By having a liturgy of confession close to the beginning of the church service, we consciously enter worship as people who stand equally in need of forgiveness, and humility, and the mercy of God. “In a world of ‘I’m right,’” my pastor said, “confession reminds us that we are all wrong.”

“This puts us all on equal footing.

“It’s me, it’s me, O Lord,

“Standin’ in the need of prayer;

“It’s me, it’s me, O Lord,

“Standin’ in the need of prayer.”

It’s me, O Lord! I was thinking about this the other day, when Rebekah and I were talking about how much effort so many ‘Christians’ put into excluding, condemning, judging, restricting and otherwise insisting that God endorses their cultural (and political) passions, proclivities and prejudices.

Meanwhile, Jesus Himself stands at the door and declares that we all fall short of the glory of God — but that we are all welcome regardless because we are covered by grace and wrapped up in love.

Covered by grace and wrapped up in love. I like that; I believe it’s a good place to conclude.


Previous articleFaith & Footprints: Mariners’ Church — Detroit, Michigan
Next articleLocal Restaurants Offer Allergy-friendly Menus In The Area
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at www.derekmaul.wordpress.com.