There is a great leveler in our worship service. When we kneel during our confession time we are all on equal footing. I am there beside my children as their sister, equal in need for grace, equal in standing as a child myself. In one sense this truth is always...well, true. I'm never not their sister. Even as I mother, I am their sister.
I can see the back of my husband's head as he too turns and faces the cross. As he steps apart from his role as Pastor, as Shepherd, and kneels just like me, like our kids, like our congregation, he is there as a brother, equal in his need for grace, equal in standing as a child.
Friends take part in this glorious exchange. No older or younger, in some ways no wiser or more foolish, all equal before a Holy God. All equal in our need for grace, in our standing as children.
No one is better off than another.
No one has more need than another.
In that moment we all need.
We need grace.
We need mercy.
We don't sin a little or a lot so there isn't a sliding grace scale. He doesn't evaluate our whispered "Please forgive me for _________" and parcel out forgiveness in an appropriate and equal measure.
It's not a waterfall of grace in row three, fourth seat from the left, and a thimble passed on to the person in the sixth seat on the second from the front row.
Because we are all there, side by side kneeling in our need, we lift our faces to the shower that pours down with overflowing grace. Its abundance splashes out into our dry and sin cracked places. It floods our hearts and hydrates our minds and washes our souls clean.
And, like little children dancing in the rain, we find joy.