In the last few blog posts, we’ve looked at repentance and forgiveness. Today, I want to focus on accepting God’s mercy.
Among the big messages of forgiveness in the Bible is that the God that we serve is willing to forgive:
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us. —Psalm 103:8-12
Jesus came and was known as a friend of sinners: prostitutes, thieves, drunkards, adulterers. The people he broke bread with – remember, the word for breaking bread with in Latin is "companion." Jesus’ companions were people who were no worse than any of you. They had all lied, cheated, struggled with sexual addictions, or alcoholism, or had mistreated others. But Jesus noted that his mission was to “seek and to save those who are lost.” His death on the cross was meant as a dramatic act demonstrating humanity’s sin and God’s redemptive mercy.
This is the central focus of the Christian faith: God stands ready to forgive us. He looks for authentic repentance. Baptism and the Eucharist both point to God’s desire to forgive you. And which of us does not need this gift?
“Have you repented and accepted God’s mercy?” If you have not, today is the perfect day to confess your need, and to trust in his mercy. Are you willing to do so?