Confession AND Forgiveness

One morning I woke up thinking about being comfortable and the confession in the liturgy.

People like to be comfortable. Heck, I like to be comfortable. I want to feel loved and secure. I want to know I’m alright. The confession lets us know we are all wrong. We have all sinned by the things we have done and the things we have left undone. We have not measured up. Like it says in scripture, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God.

Then comes the good part – see it is confession AND forgiveness. We are forgiven for what we have done and left undone. This is freedom. Freedom to try to live better. Freedom to try to love more. Freedom to dare to step out of your comfort zone and to learn more about the pain and suffering in the world and how you can be a part of elevating the struggle.

My dear white friends and family, I have spent 50 years trying to make you comfortable with my presence. Telling you my maiden name, sharing that I’m adopted and raised by lovely Norwegians, showing that I get your white world and that I can hang out with you. Well, I’m done. My hope now is to make you uncomfortable.

My hope now is that you will come to church and confess your sins and you will sit in the discomfort of your role in the racial brokenness of America. My hope is to hold space so that you can grieve the loss of the lies that everything is ok, that race doesn’t matter, and we got over it in the 1960’s. It will be uncomfortable. My hope is that you will know that with the gift of forgiveness comes what Bonhoeffer called Costly Grace. The freedom you receive with forgiveness frees you to enter into the suffering and pain of others. It frees you to dare to listen to Black People and hear their truth. It will be uncomfortable. It will cost you some of your power and privilege.

Why do I want to make you uncomfortable? Because it is a necessary part of the healing process for us all. Things have to change. Reformation is not over. We have work to do and being uncomfortable will help us move in the right direction.



Originally a Facebook post.

One thought on “Confession AND Forgiveness

  1. J. Matt Steinhauer says:

    I sat here tonight and read everyone of your blog posts, and could have commented on every one of them. This is powerful and important. Please keep it up. I signed up to receive your new blogs and look forward to listening. Grace and Peace, Matt Steinhauer

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