What Every White, Twenty-Something, Seminary Male Needs To Remember

This is something I needed to hear numerous times during my theological education (and still do):

I ain’t saying you’re not special in, like, your mother was a liar kinda way. You are special. You are a wonderful, unique child of God. But you’re also not God. Or John Calvin. Or Augustine. Or da Pope. Or any of the many Karls. You don’t have all the answers. Nor is your majority-member theological perspective anything unique and mind-blowing. So have some humble pie. Ask more questions, give less answers.

That’s my advice to you and myself. For what ’tis worth.

 

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Lord, I Am Forgiven

This past Sunday, I heard a wonderful sermon on the parable of the prodigal son and thirty-second Psalm. This prayer is a result of reflections thereafter:

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Heavenly Father,

I wear so many hats: husband, brother, son, and uncle(!). Most days I am an employee, a coworker, a colleague and a subordinate. Some know me as a reader or a blogger, a runner and a skier, a crazy person who enjoys winter, a lover of pastries, a laugher and a crier. These are the roles by which I identify myself in relation to others. And I tend to do the same with you.

I will not tell you I am a sinner God, for this you already know. But I will tell you my confession: I am sorry for my stubbornness and pride, particularly within my marriage. I am sorry for my obsession and idolization: books and writing have the thrown of my heart, as do skiing and whatever dose of fame or reputation I could possibly procure.

I am sorry for my gossip. (I think I need the most forgiveness here.) For I would rather talk about someone than with them. The latter takes social courage, which I readily shun.

In saying these things God I know that I do not earn your forgiveness but rather I accept my identity as one who has been forgiven; I realize that my condition before you is that of the prodigal son who has squandered your grace on tiny pleasures and vices. I manage to hide these indulgences from others, but never from you.

Of all the identities I claim, make this my first and foremost: that I am a sinner who has been forgiven.

For which I thank you.

Amen.