I would like to commence a new blog series on the theme of “confessions.” I suppose that is what most blogs are. I don’t have any secret sins I will be revealing, but just some things I’m struggling with that perhaps others in the blogoshere can relate to, or if they can’t, they can pray for me or grant me absolution. This summer series is inspired by three things:

1. I grew up in a tradition that valued confession very highly. 1 John 1:9 was one of the first verses I memorized. “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Much of our piety and spirituality was built on guilt and the way to get rid of guilt was to confess often and openly. This tradition took Matthew 5:23-24, 1 Corinthians 11:28, and James 5:16 very literally and seriously. Before you come to church, especially communion, you make things right between you and the Lord and other people. Therefore, the night before we had communion service we had a confession service. This sometimes went to extremes like the time a woman [in even more euphemistic language] confessed her strategic head-aches to her husband in front of the congregation. I wondered whether just maybe this could have been confessed at home in private. But the point remains, confession is important and therapeutic.

2. I’m a fan and an occasional contributer to Geez Magazine; it has a regular confession column [I will repost one of my confessions that got published in the magazine] that I think is brilliant. It begins with a stated confession, proceeds to provide creative justifications for the stated sins, and then the editor of the column provides some sort of penance or absolution. It is funny and sarcastic like the rest of the magazine, and the point of the column and the magazine is that sometimes we take ourselves and our spirituality much too seriously. I will attempt to write my little series in that same light-hearted, and yet poignant spirit.

3. I will have more time beginning next week. I finished a full semester at the end of April, then jetted off to Manitoba for speaking engagements, and tomorrow I will be presenting an academic paper I’ve been working on for some time. After that I will be ready for something lighter… perhaps some blogging would be a good summer activity on days when I’m not hiking, biking, traveling or gardening.