“The first conversion is from me to we,” says Franciscan Father Richard Rohr.
So what changes when the pronouns change? Not “I” but “We.” We are bruised and bruising. We are blessed and beloved. For me, we is we Smiths and Olson-Smiths; we white men; we Iowans; we Christians; we humans. What do you notice as you make the same move?
Our faith is warped by a fixation on individual sin and individual salvation. Over and over in the bible, God chose one to speak to all or chose the part for the sake of the whole. Collective sin. Collective salvation. That’s God’s focus.
The prophet Isaiah confessed, “I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips!” What if this was our confession?
“I am a person of unclean lips, living among a nation of unclean lips!” I am not alone or unique in my sin. Mine is part of a larger pattern. I cannot be saved by myself. My salvation is bound together with the salvation of the whole.
What does this collective confession change for you?
Pastor Clark Olson-Smith
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
715 South Third Street
Clinton, IA 52732
(at the foot of the south bridge)