Guilt and Grace
Love means you do have to say, “I’m sorry.”
I’ve spent most of my life conflicted about guilt and grace. Every day I make lots of mistakes (or to use the theological term—I’m guilty of committing sins), and I’ve lived and worked in an organization (church) that preaches, but doesn’t always practice grace.
As a concerned citizen, I vote for the President, congress, my town’s mayor and other local officials. I know these leaders will make mistakes, and I know they won’t always make decisions that I agree with.
Even though we disagree, I need to “cut them some slack,” or to use a theological term—show them some grace.
In our Reformed Tradition, Presbyterians have a representative form of government. What some folks may not know, our ministers of Word and Sacrament and our elders and deacons represent the Holy Spirit. They are to vote as the Spirit leads them, and not necessarily as they think the congregation may want them to vote.
Church leaders make mistakes and folks in the church have different opinions. I would hate to moderate a session where all the elders felt the same way about every issue that came up.
We church leaders are not perfect, we make mistakes, and yes, we sin! I for one am sorry for my mistakes (sins) and ask for grace when . . .
- I didn’t speak to you before worship, yet tried to say hello to 200+ people in the Great Hall!
- Stewardship season came and the sermon on giving offended you
- We made a change in staff that you weren’t happy with
- We sang a hymn you didn’t know, or we used the screen during the “traditional” service
- Our denomination takes a stand on a social issue and you disagree
For all those times the leaders at Palmetto have made bad decisions that caused you pain, as the pastor, please know I am sorry.
Who knows, maybe one day we will all feel less guilt if our church family learns to not only preach grace but to actually practice it!
Have a grace-filled week,