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The Right Context for Confession (Augustine)

I love the way in which Augustine’s Confessions opens. Most biographies opt for a little historical context, but Augustine thinks that it is important to open up his story with doxological context. He is not just confessing sins and beliefs; he is ultimately confessing the awesomeness of God. Not long after the famous line about our hearts being restless until they find rest in God, we find lines like these (see original for fuller version and context) that sweep us into the depths of worship:

For who is Lord but the Lord?
Who is God except our God?

The most merciful yet most just;
The most hidden yet most present;
The most beautiful yet strongest.

You cannot change, yet you change everything;
Ever working, ever at rest;
Still gathering…yet lacking nothing.

Loves without yearning, jealous without bitterness;
When all others fail to finish what they propose, your purpose remains unchanged.

You receive what you found—yet you had never lost it;
You are never in need yet rejoice in what you gain;
You pay debts when you owe nothing, and in repaying debts you lose nothing.