Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What is forgiveness?

In Luke 18:9-14, two men go into the Temple. One takes pride in himself. The other asks for mercy.
What is forgiveness? Is it something we do or something we ask of God? 
We know that only God can forgive, even the most grievous of sins. Too often we equate our emotions--what we feel--with what actually happened--what God did. If we didn't feel moved, then something is wrong.
I have only had a couple of those "heart strangely warmed" moments. But I've never doubted the work of God. In our prayer of confession we are assured by the minister, "Christ died for us while we were yet sinners."
That means that no matter what we do, we are yet saved. We are yet forgiven.
A table is still a piece of furniture. Even if it is scratched, dented, bruised, covered with permanent marker from a four and a half year old, it is yet a table. We are yet sinners, yet are we not forgiven.
That table can be smoothed, restored cleaned. And it will still be a piece of furniture at which people can share a meal, you can study, rest, or even give that permanent marker back to the four year old to make a drawing out of love.
Forgiveness is not seeking something for ourselves, but accepting what God has already given to us.

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