The season of Lent intends to be a time of renewal in trusting God’s mercy and new life. Our new life begins in baptism, and God calls us to a life of repentance and forgiveness. Yes, our forgiveness is complete already and secure in Christ; yet daily we may confess our sins and rejoice in God’s mercy. Psalm 103:12 assures us, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has God removed our transgressions from us.”

Sometimes our sin is so troubling that we cannot let go of it. It may be difficult to believe that we can be forgiven. A forgotten practice that Martin Luther practiced was private confession. Find your catechism and look way in the back! There you see part five. “How to Confess”. Read it over. If you need assurance of forgiveness, I am willing to listen with confidentiality. Then I will simply say: “Your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Private Confession is not a requirement in the Lutheran Church. And you may share it with a trusted friend as well. It is offered as a discipline of Lent to help grow in confidence of God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Go in peace. Rejoice in your forgiveness.