A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series March 31, 2013 - The Resurrection of Our Lord
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Mark 16:1-8 for the The Resurrection of Our Lord, March 31, 2013.
It is from Large Catechism, Part V: The Sacrament of the Altar.
"You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen;" Confession is your Good Friday. Absolution is your Easter Resurrection. Your sin has been crucified with Christ, with Christ you have been raised.
13] Besides … public, daily, and necessary confession, there is also the confidential confession that is only made before a single brother. If something particular weighs upon us or troubles us, something with which we keep torturing ourselves and can find no rest, and we do not find our faith to be strong enough to cope with it, then this private form of confession gives us the opportunity of laying the matter before some brother,... when and however often we wish. … So any heart that feels it sinfulness and desires consolation has here a sure refuge when he hears God's Word and makes the discovery that God through a human being looses and absolves him from his sins.
15] So notice then, that Confession, as I have often said, consists of two parts. The first is my own work and action, when I lament my sins and desire comfort and refreshment for my soul. The other part is a work that God does when He declares me free of my sin through His Word placed in the mouth of a man. It is this splendid, noble, thing that makes Confession so lovely, so comforting….
20] Moreover, no one may now pressure you with commandments. Rather, what we say is this: Whoever is a Christian or would like to be one is here faithfully advised to go and get the precious treasure. … As I have said, we teach that whoever does not go to Confession willingly and for the sake of obtaining the Absolution, he may as well forget about it…. 22] …What I am saying is that you are to concentrate on the Word, on the Absolution, to regard it as a great and precious and magnificently splendid treasure, ...
23] If this were explained in detail and if the need that ought to move and lead us to make confession were pointed out, then one would need little urging or coercion. … 28] So we teach what a splendid, precious, and comforting thing Confession is. Furthermore, we strongly urge people not to despise a blessing that in view of our great need is so priceless. Now, if you are a Christian, then you do not need … pressuring, …but you will undoubtedly compel yourself to come to Confession and will beg me for a share in it. …
30] To sum it up, we want to have nothing to do with coercion. … If you were a Christian, then you ought to be happy to run more than a hundred miles to Confession and not let yourself be urged to come. You should rather come and compel us to give you the opportunity. … 32] … If I have brought you to the point of being a Christian, I have thereby also brought you to Confession.
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.
Lord grant you faith in His grace alone for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen