I CONSECRATED YOU
with Rev. Rachel
5 I CONSECRATED YOU Jeremiah 1
Protestants by and large give confession a bum rap, disparaging it as if it were some kind of yucky Catholic thing. Add to that our American can-do spirit and that southern sense of what is not to be spoken of...Stir in a general aversion to vulnerability and well, it’s a small parting of the Red Sea merely to experience a genuinely embraced prayer of confession.
Perhaps I have underestimated the degree to which we are all a little haunted by the possibility of others using what we share about ourselves against us.
People do delight in exposing what they perceive to be the flaws of others: Old news. What may be new is the size and scope of the stage. Thanks to networking and broadcasting inventions, an audience is virtually guaranteed. In other words, if what you want to do is use people’s words against them, this is the era for you.
Part of what I treasure about the church, is our call to live counter-culturally. Living counter-culturally is not the same thing as being against everything going on around us. There are other words for that. Living counter-culturally in the Judeo-Christian context is about living as consecrated individuals and as a consecrated community.
This week has involved a good bit of chewing on this word consecration. Jeremiah tells us that God consecrates (v.5). From Tuesday’s prayer time: “Consecration is the act of continually separating myself from everything except that which God has appointed me to do. It is not a one-time experience (O. Chambers).”
Hmmm. What if confession contributes to that ongoing process of consecration? What if confession helps us let go of what God has not appointed us to do in order to grab a hold of what IS our proper service? So, someone can use what I offer about myself against me. (1) That played out on the cross. (2) It failed miserably☺
The season before us offers to consecrate us to the way of the cross. If there is something besides “yuck” to be said for naming what we have done and left undone, maybe Lent can show us.
We will have each other to practice...detaching confession from guilt tripping...the counter-cultural art of refusing to fashion weapons out of words...Let’s!