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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Day 6: Lent 2015 But it's supposed to be about me!

Day 6 Lent 2015

"I am writing to you, little children,
    because your sins are forgiven on account of his name."  1 John 2.12

I don't think many of us really understand what sin is.  We often think of sin as those things we do: stealing, lying, cheating, sexual indiscretion, etc... .  Those actions might be 'sinful' but they are not sin.  Sin is the human condition that keeps us from loving God, neighbor and self as we should.   This lack of love for God, neighbor and self is manifest in many ways that are destructive to the  lives we have been called to live in Jesus.   The problem is we think we can tackle sin by our own fortitude, by our own efforts and abilities and this is a recipe for disaster!  Guilt, shame, feelings of hypocrisy can be the constant companion for those who try to go it alone.

So what is the answer?  John suggests that we begin with the stunning truth and Good News of Jesus Christ.  On his account, those things that keep us from loving God, neighbor and ourselves have been forgiven.    Psalm 103.12 proclaims:   "He has taken our sins [transgressions] away from us, as far as the east is from west."   This means we are free today to live as the people God has called us to be. Our past sins are forgiven/forgotten and we need to lay them down as well.   We need to leave behind the stuck emotions of guilt, shame and remorse and move forward in confidence that the Holy Spirit will be at work calling us into the future.  Let me put it this way:  stop wasting time with guilt and shame, trying to prove to God that you are really sorry, accept the gift of his love and forgiveness and move on!   Remember it's not about you!  

A prayer for today:  "Forgiving Father, you know our sins. You see our need for love, hope, and forgiveness. Despite our sometimes-troubled days, we know deep down that you are there for us and we ask you to forgive us our trespasses and give us the confidence that we are truly forgiven for the sake of Jesus. In your name we pray. Amen."

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