Absolution Received - Amen!

by The Rev. Richard Heinz

Highlights? Well, to begin with, yesterday had a highlight that I forgot to mention at 1:00 a.m. when I blogged. I ran into my third grade teacher. Thirty years ago she was probably one of the early influences that planted the seed for me to desire to pursue the ministry.

The highlight for today? Pastor Borghardt’s plenary catechetical sessions were fabulous! The “vote for the best T-shirt” contest has been fun. Presenting my “breakaway” catechetical session was great. The prayer offices (Matins, Vespers, and Evening Prayer) have been thrilling! And how chills-down-your-spine exciting when your prayers really do rise before Him as incense! The sweet aroma of prayer greeted worshipers as they entered the church.

But the highlight for today happened after Evening Prayer. Pastor Rick Stuckwisch asked me to remain and act as an usher for Individual Confession & Absolution. Three pastors vested and sat next to kneelers. Youth and adults were welcomed to stay following the liturgy if they desired this treasure. I would estimate that around twenty people received this Holy Gift tonight. A number of others did last night.

After the last penitent had been ushered to another station, I took my place at a kneeler. I cannot express the incredible release of burden and the blessed peace that comes from this “Third Sacrament,” as the Confessions call it! Gift received. Amen!

Sure I preach and teach this with some regularity. I urge others to ask for the opportunity for such confession. But what a great thing to avail myself of the Gift that I urge for others. The highlight for today? I confessed my sin. I received Holy Absolution. Gift received. Amen!

Rev. Richard Heinz is Pastor of St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church in Lanesville, IN. He works with Higher Things Internet Services, serving as editor of the Front Page.

Created: July 3rd, 2008