Every Sunday we confess our sins to God. In the modern world, this may seem strange. It may look like we Christians are just saying sorry a lot. To some people, saying sorry is a greater sin than almost any act you can commit. As long as you never say sorry, you never need to be forgiven.
The hubris found in this ideology cuts across the mission and ministry of Jesus. Over and over, throughout the Gospels, Jesus says that he came to save the sinners and not the righteous. Paul writes that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This is the starting place of Christian hope. In confession, in acknowledging our sin, we realize that we cannot save ourselves and that we are in need of a savior.
In saying a Prayer of Confession, no one should ever feel sorry for themselves. Confession is not a pity party. Confession is a sober account of reality. Confession is the ability to see the world clearly and not for our own advantage. Confession is letting go of the power games of the world in order to follow the power that created the world.
Methodists do not confession as a sacrament on par with communion, as Catholics do. However, we believe that God acts in our confession, God forgives us of our sins as far as we are able to forgive others, as far as we are able to be truly contrite. By praying the pray of confession early in our worship time, we are able to free ourselves to fully encounter our risen savior. When we hold back from admitting our faults, we hold back from seeing our Lord.