Seeking Jerusalem – Day 35 "The Culture of Grace"

I heard a Vicar (Pastor) from the Anglican church tell a story recently about his encounters with a young man off the streets that we will call, Paul. The vicar’s wife, who was a good judge of character, agreed that they should help the young man and so they put him up for a few days until they could find a more permanent place for him. He ended up staying for a number of months and became a part of the family. When the Vicar and his wife went on a short vacation, they left Paul in charge. Paul invited another friend from the streets over who ended up stealing the wife’s jewelry (hierlooms from her mother with more sentimental value than anything else). Paul claimed he was innocent but he still shouldn’t have invited his friend over when no one else was at home. A lapse in judgment.

Seeking Jerusalem – Day 32 "The Courage of Transparency"

We gave it a try. We really did.
The new Pastor asked everyone to get together for a meeting and we all came. I brought my wife and daughter (since they were also involved) and the Pastor brought the elder who had offended. The Pastor was a believer in the power of reconciliation and apparently had convinced the elder to show up. One of the other elders had given the Pastor our names as people the Board needed to reconcile with. When we had stood up for Scottie, a street evangelist who was thrown out of the church for making people feel uncomfortable and always asking for money, we got thrown out as well.
So we all showed up, all of us believers, all of us excited about the prospect of true reconciliation. Everyone except for Scottie. They never did get around to him. They should have started with him. The ministry of reconciliation is spiritual warfare and we were terribly unprepared.

Seeking Jerusalem – Day 31 "True Confessions"

Confessions are scary business. For everyone.
True confessions sounds like one of those rag mags you find on a newstand full of the foibles and follies of the rich and famous. People love their reality shows and true confessions spice things up nicely. And celebrities are used to it, aren’t they? Nobody gets hurt. Some people like to air their dirty laundry in public, sharing their accusations and stories of betrayal and disappointment with the whole world watching. Those of us who have a bit more sense, avoid those kinds of situations like the plague. True confessions are the dirty side of reality and it just mires you in bitterness and resentment as you are reminded of all your hurts and offenses.
So when it comes to the church, most of us are rather uncomfortable with the idea of confession. Isn’t that a Catholic idea anyway? We don’t do that in my church. The Pastor might talk about it once in a while, but it is always a silent confession just between God and myself. Nobody else’s business. It’s a private thing, not public. Thank God.