Rather than focus only on the ways that we have failed or fallen short, how might our Lenten journey (indeed, our life journey) change if we begin with an affirmation of our beauty and worth as beloved children of God? When doubting voices inevitably come, will we let them derail us? Or can we learn to respond with a powerful assertion of trust – ‘God calls me good, beloved child. I am a treasure deeply prized’ - and live in freedom and love instead of fear.Read More
To receive forgiveness is to have a burden lifted from our shoulders; it is a gift of grace upon grace upon grace. Forgiveness frees us from the unrelenting demands of perfectionism and fear of failure; it nourishes hope and encourages us toward a whole and integrated life. When we are forgiven our offenses are in the past, forgotten by God. We're given a clean slate and invited to begin again.
But have these life-changing words found their way to the core of our being? Does our liturgy provide space to celebrate and savor the grace we have received? Do the words and tunes we sing in response to the Assurance of Pardon invite us to be present to moment and to share the joy with others?
Last month, Not So Churchy, an emergent Presbyterian faith community where I share musical leadership, had its very first baptism. A trans woman in the community, who had begun her gender transition a few months prior, stepped into the baptismal waters and was marked as Christ's own. I had the privilege of being one of her sponsors, charged by the community to be a spiritual companion on the journey.Read More