Last week while I was doomscrolling on instagram I came across some trailers for a new video series “Embracing the Divine Flow” by Richard Rohr. The videos are available on the website “The Work of the People”. There were a couple of thoughts in those short video clips that I’ve been pondering over the last week. Here’s one of them. 

Rohr is asked about God and forgiveness. To which Rohr responds that God must be all-forgiving otherwise God invalidates their own teaching. Think about that. Jesus said to forgive how many times? Seventy times seven. Jesus told us to love our neighbours as ourselves and even to love our enemies. If someone strikes you on your cheek, turn the other cheek. 

For some reason hearing this seemed like an ah-ha moment. I guess I’ve never heard it expressed this way. I admit I harbour doubts about God’s forgiveness. Probably fostered by my conservative upbringing which maintained a kind of list of the people who were unforgiveable and therefore permanently unforgiven.

I’ve always been drawn to the confession in our liturgy. It’s always helped me to feel reassured that God forgives, but if I’m being honest its been mixed with fear and doubt. By reciting the confession and hearing the words of absolution I have secretly hoped that somehow I’ve satisfied a requirement of an otherwise unforgiving god and received forgiveness.. 

This week as we came to that place in the liturgy I saw the act less like a magic eraser wiping my soul clean and more like an affirmation of God’s forgiveness. The forgiveness is always there flowing out from God. I don’t know where this new thinking will take me but for now it is helping me to shift my  focus away from my transgressions and onto new thinking and new possibilities.