One of the things we do when we gather in the community of faith every Sunday is to confess our sins. Every week we confess that we are broken and fall short:
we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have failed to be an obedient church.
We have not done your will,
we have broken your law,
we have rebelled against your love,
we have not loved our neighbors,
and we have not heard the cry of the needy.
Forgive us, we pray.
Free us for joyful obedience,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
And every week, many of us sit in the pews knowing we did not do all of these things. Some of these things you didn’t do during the week. Some of them I didn’t do. But it isn’t really about you or me. Our confession not my confession. It is our confession. As a church, as a community, WE have not loved God with our whole heart, we have failed to be an obedient church. We not done God’s will, we have broken God’s law, we have rebelled against the love that God offers, we have not loved our neighbors, or heard the cry of the needy. I may not have done all of those things, but WE most certainly have.
In the same way, WE as a nation need to confess our sins. Neither of us, not you, not me, nor the people we know, picked up a gun and killed 50 breathing, living, beautiful human beings in a nightclub. But WE did. We need to confess our sins as a nation; we need to ask for forgiveness.
Because as long as it is “them,” “those people,”…as long as it is not me, or you, or our family, or our friends, as long as it is not us, nothing we will change. This is our community, our nation, our responsibility.
It is time we claim it as ours.
We, the people of these United States,
We confess that we have not formed a perfect union.
We have failed to establish justice and domestic tranquility
We have not trusted in the abundant freedom we are given,
we have denied the general welfare of our fellow citizens,
we have taken advantage of and abused the blessings of liberty,
we have concerned ourselves with our own prosperity
and we have not heard the cry of the needy in our midst.
Forgive us, for failing to leave for our children the country and the world they deserve.
Free us to be a country that knows we have failed and give us the strength to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.