Now, before anyone gets their cassock in a kerfuffle, I know that confession is the action of God’s people on behalf of the church and the world. However, I also know that there is a screaming need among God’s worshipers to be seen and known. The proof: after a few weeks of confessing, corporately but in with first-person pronouns, in a somewhat proud and reticent congregation, my pastoral counseling load began to skyrocket.
My point? Balance. Balance between the individual who needs to be nurtured in their personal apprenticeship to the Savior and the congregation of individuals that can be formed into a community by Word and, more importantly, Sacrament. Balance. Balance between our need to be known and accountable and our opportunity to be welcomed and commissioned. Balance. Balance between the dangerous self-focused world of the unchallenged “I” and the equally dangerous selfish anonymity that can be found in a liturgy of unchecked “we.” After all, the same book of Psalms that reminds us that “. . . we are his people and the sheep of his pasture” also says in the very next instance, “I will sing of your love and justice . . .” May this be our goal, and let it begin with me.
This article on pronouns in worship originally appeared here, and is used by permission.