Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sin, Mercy & Grace

Sin keeps us from God. Sadly, we, and too often our churches, ignore or worse yet condone sin in our midst. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners. Anon E. Moose

To confess your sins to God is not to tell him anything He does not already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the bridge.
A Christian is one who points at Christ and says, 'I can't prove a thing, but there's something about His eyes and His voice. There's something about the way He carries His head, His hands, the way He carries His cross - the way He carries me.'
Who knows how the awareness of God's love first hits people. Every person has his own tale to tell, including the person who would not believe in God if you paid him. Some moment happens in your life that you say Yes right up to the roots of your hair, which makes it worth having been born just to have happen. Laughing with somebody till the tears run down your cheeks. Waking up to the first snow. Being in bed with somebody you love.
Whether you thank God for such a moment or thank your lucky stars, it is a moment that is trying to open up your whole life. If you turn your back on such a moment and hurry along to Business as Usual, it may lose you the ball game. If you throw your arms around such a moment and hug it like crazy, it may save your soul.
How about the person you know who as far as you can possibly tell has never had such a moment - the soreheads and slobs of the world, the ones the world has hopelessly crippled? Maybe for that person the moment that has to happen is you. Salvation is a process, not an event.
It is as hard to absolve yourself of your own guilt as it is to sit in your own lap. Wrongdoing sparks guilt sparks wrongdoing ad nauseam, and we all try to disguise the grim process from both ourselves and everybody else. In order to break the circuit we need somebody before whom we can put aside the disguise, trusting that when He sees us for what we fully are, He will not run away screaming with, if nothing worse, laughter. Our trust in Him leads us to trust His trust in us. In His presence the fact of our guilt no longer makes us feel and act out our guiltiness. For a moment at least the vicious circle stops circling and we can step down onto the firm ground of His acceptance, where maybe we’ll be able to walk straight line again.

Frederick Buechner

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