“In confession the break-through to community takes place. Sin demands to have a [person] by [themselves]. It withdraws [that person] from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over [that person], and the more deeply [that person] becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is the isolation. Sin wants to remain unknown.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
How many times can you recall that feeling of having done something and then wanting to cover it up, either literally or simply with silence? I would venture that all of us have done this . . . recently even.
Bonhoeffer sets confession and community in contrast to sin. Why might this be? Community is one of those things that we as humans were designed for. It is something that finds its roots deep in the Trinitarian nature of God, Father, Son and Spirit. Relationship with God is participation in that community and sin seeks to separate us from God's community. So, what can we do about those things that seek to isolate us from community? As the beginning of the opening quote stated, confession helps us to break through to the place of community. This is one of the things that we learned about in a recent Spiritual Parenting workshop. It is a powerful thing to be able to offer to our children a safe place to learn the freedom that comes from confession. How might we go about creating these places of refuge in our lives? Is the church community a place you feel safe to bring your confessions? Does confession always involve words? It would be great to know your responses to these questions.
By: Aaron Hansen