Philemon 17–22 (ESV)
17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive
me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your
own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you,
knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.
In yesterday’s blog entry, I was writing about Paul commanding Onesimus to return back to his master which is a beautiful picture of repentance. I did not mention this part yesterday, but it hit me today about
confession and absolution. The part of repentance and Onesimus going back to Philemon is confession and repentance. Philemon’s acceptance and forgiveness is the absolution. As I prepare to go to church today, I travel to the church
and will begin the service with a confession and absolution. At the beginning of the service, we confess and receive God’s forgiveness… then we process through the worship service. In fact, our whole liturgy is built around confession,
absolution, God’s Word and the Lord’s Supper (for the forgiveness of sins).
I pray: O Lord, I confess that I am sinful and have sinned
against you. I repent and want to do better. Help me to turn from my sinful ways and trust in your forgiveness won for me on the cross. Amen.