November 15, 2023
Today’s Reading: Luther’s Small Catechism: The Office of the Keys
but before the pastor we should confess only those sins which we know and feel in our hearts.
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. When you go to a doctor, maybe you have a small issue that bothers you. Maybe it’s a larger issue that you can’t handle. You’ve tried to give yourself a remedy but nothing works. The doctor enters privately, examines you and gives you a path forward for healing. What is said and shown to the doctor remains with the doctor. This is how you should view your pastor with private confession. Luther calls the pastor the “soul physician”.
In private confession Jesus is doing the forgiving when pastors forgive the sins of the people given into their spiritual care. Jesus says “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). Unlike a doctor, the pastor’s medicine always works because Jesus is always the medicine you need. Go to your pastor just like you go to your doctor. Confess your sins as the self inflicted wounds that need help and healing. Just like others wound you and a doctor heals those wounds, absolution heals the wounds done against you. Jesus will take all sins away, even the ones done against you because by His cross, His death brings life and the medicine of immortality to you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
For your Son has suffered for me Giv’n Himself to rescue me Died to save and restore me
Reconciled and set me free Jesus’ cross alone can vanquish These dark fears and soothe this anguish
– Pastor Kent Schaaf is pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Little Rock. AR.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.