A Call to Confession for the Sin of Idolatry
Rev. Andrea Roske-Metcalfe, Associate Pastor at Grace Lutheran Church of Apple Valley, MN
Long afterward, Oedipus, old and blinded, walked the roads. He smelled a familiar smell. It was the Sphinx. Oedipus said, “I want to ask one question. Why didn’t I recognize my mother?”
“You gave the wrong answer,” said the Sphinx.
“But that was what made everything possible,” said Oedipus.
“No,” she said. “When I asked, What walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening, you answered, Man. You didn’t say anything about woman.”
“When you say Man,” said Oedipus, “you include women too. Everyone knows that.”
She said, “That’s what you think.”[i]
We always begin with confession. During worship in the church where I’m a pastor, we first welcome the people, point out that everyone is invited to the table for communion; maybe mention the reason behind the flowers on the altar. It’s light, sometimes we crack a joke…we’re just gathering, you know? But we’re also not messing around. We begin worship, just after that, by confessing our sins. We do this, not because we are defined by our sins or because our tradition lays the guilt on thick, but rather because it centers us. It reminds us, corporately, of the work we have left to do in bringing about the kin-dom of God, and of the work we will never be able to do on our own, which leaves God an awful lot to work with. Confessing our sins, and then hearing words of forgiveness and absolution, centers us for worship, which is where we rehearse the kin-dom of God.
We always begin with confession. Dear friends, today is no different. Today, we confess the sin of idolatry, in particular the ways in which we deify maleness and masculinity. Continue reading “The Deification of Maleness & Masculinity”