What We Confess

Today the church notes an important feast day that’s not focused on a person, but on a person’s words: The Confession of Saint Peter.

So, this strange feast is the only feast dedicated to words, which feels very appropriate in these days where we’re all seeing, a little too close to home, the power of words.

Words can move us, for good or for ill.

Words can shape worlds, and tear them down.

Today the church remembers Peter’s famous confession, “You are the Christ.” This confession comes near the Week of Christian Unity for the church, but I have to be very honest with you when I say that the church feels more fractured today than it has in many decades.

Seeing Christian flags used to storm the capitol building two years ago was too much for me.

I’m pondering, on this feast day, what words I follow in the world. What words shape me? What words do I use to shape?

I chose this icon by Russian icon writer Oleg Shurkus for the day because I feel it’s most appropriate for where we are. This is obviously not of St. Peter’s confession, but in the aftermath of his denial and betrayal.

We don’t always live up to our ideals. We sometimes betray our own words. This feels like where we’re at.

Still, there is always a possibility for resurrection, right?

Perhaps on this day when the feasts of the church comes on the heels of our civic MLK feast, these words will suffice for the day:

“The time is always right to do what is right.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

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