CATECHESIS NOTES FOR THE WEEK—Martin Luther Teaches Concerning Private Confession and Absolution--"If anybody does not go to confession willingly and for the sake of absolution, let him just forget about it. Yes, and if anybody goes about relying on the purity of his confession, let him just stay away from it. We urge you, however, to confess and express your needs, not for the purpose of performing a work but to hear what God wishes to say to you. The Word of absolution, I say, is what you should concentrate on, magnifying and cherishing it as a great and wonderful treasure to be accepted with all praise and gratitude." (Large Catechism, “A Breif Exhortation to Confession,” Tappert Edition)
CATECHESIS NOTES FOR THE WEEK—“A Lover’s Word”—This week we begin two weeks of meditation on Confession and the Office of the Keys. These headings from the Catechism might sound dry and sterile to some, but these sections are all about receiving “a Lover’s Word.” Jesus’ Word of forgiveness is a Lover’s Word—the Word of Him who loved us, His bride, so much that He laid down His life in death to cover the ugliness of our sin and rebellion against God. Just as the words of our beloved in marriage strengthen our relationship with our spouse, so the words of absolution from our Lover Jesus strengthen our relationship with Him. Even more than this, His Word of forgiveness makes us beautiful, strengthens faith against sin and temptation, and gives us comfort. What woman doesn’t want to hear the word of him who loves her? This is how we should view the absolution, and why we should learn to value it and long to hear it from our pastors.
Luther's Small Catechism
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