Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Apology & Forgiveness

Yesterday I messed up...

Nothing huge, I suppose, but I made a mistake that caused me to miss something on my schedule that a lot of people look forward to and depend on.

I missed my scheduled "Pastor Time" with the Pre-Kindergarten class.

(And it makes it a little worse that that is my son's class here at school... so not only did I disappoint kiddos, but one of them was my kiddo!)

However, it gave me good opportunity to re-schedule for today - and it gave me a great topic for today's rescheduled edition of "Pastor Time":

Confession and Absolution

No, I didn't force the 5 year-olds to grab their hymnals and recite with me from the liturgy - they're still working on the whole literacy thing - but we did talk a lot about what it means when we say "I'm sorry." and "I forgive you."

Kids get the concept of repentance pretty well... least until the next time they want to do something wrong.

But are we any different?

Its really easy to say you're sorry - especially to God, since he's not literally staring you in the eye with an angry expression on His face - but there's more to confessing our sins than just trying to get out of trouble. Just like our parents' told us when we hit our little sisters, we have to say we're sorry, "like you mean it!"

Which is all well and good, to sound like you mean that you're sorry, but to actually mean it (and agree with everything implied with an apology) is quite harder for us.

Jesus said to the woman after the crowd had dispersed and dropped the stones they'd intended to throw at her,

"Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
"No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

Getting free grace that we don't deserve - sounds great!

Leaving our life of sin - that's hard.

So what are we to do?

Know two things:

1. Your sins are forgiven. Said and done!

There's no getting around grace, whether good or bad. If we know that Jesus has done it and trust in Him to save - you're 'good'! Especially when we feel we don't deserve it.

2. We keep trying, not because He's going to love us less - but because we continue to love Him more!

Being perfect in our actions isn't a requirement of our Heavenly Father to be saved (see above), but since that's how He initially made humanity, and that's how He is, we strive toward pleasing the one who's made us pleasing.

The kids were eager to forgive me, by the way.

Which is good, because otherwise I'd have to have talked to them about the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant... and they're not ready for that just yet.

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The White Pigeon Hope - Seeking to "Normalize" the work of the Holy Spirit since 2008.