I have a confession. While I have been a Christian since an early age--claiming Christ as early as age five--I have had seasons where a propensity towards doubt and amnesia have been my pattern. I have needed to be constantly reminded of the gospel, and in recent years, I have come to find the grace of greater solace in preaching the gospel to myself--in reflecting on it theologically and meditatively. I have also found it helpful to confess the gospel to others and to myself through the weekly corporate worship times. Recently at my church, we have used not only a prayer of confession, but a Scriptural assurance of pardon, and in the last few weeks, we've also begun to make confession our faith together through the use of ancient catechism. For example, just a few weeks ago, together we proclaimed this from the 1563 Heidelberg Catechism:
Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and
death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus
Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my
sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so
preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair
can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to
my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me
of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready,
henceforth, to live unto him.
With tears, I have voiced these words with my brothers and sisters. Tears because I am appreciative of the opportunity for our liturgy to include such ancient statements of robust theology in an age where so often "new" is best. However, there is also the fact that in a room of other believers, these words are a balm to my soul...because, I confess...I often forget...I often doubt...and so my confession is to confess...confess the gospel with others...