Monday, February 20, 2012


This weekend was infused with grace and healing. The most poignant lesson for me isn't a new one, but has taken on extraordinary new meaning in the past days. I heard it from the pulpit, from friends who prayed with us, from my readings - here's how Madeline L'Engle captures it:
One of the bits of dogma that used to concern me was that Jesus was exactly like us - except he's sinless.  Well, of course if he's sinless he's not exactly like us; he's not like us at all.  And then I arrived at a totally different definition of sin.  Sin is not child abuse or rape or murder, terrible as though these may be.  Sin is separation from God, and Jesus was never separate from the Source.  Of course, if we were close to our Source; if we were not separated from God, it would be impossible for us to commit child abuse or rape or murder.  But when we are separated from God, that sin makes all sins possible.
Madeline L'Engle from Sold into Egypt
It is not "hard" for God to forgive Steve.  Steve's sin is no harder for God to forgive than is my own than is yours.  The effects of his actions may be more stark and complicated and heartwrenching in the here and now, but they represent no more of a wedge between him and God than my hardness of heart for my children this morning as I desperately wanted just a few more minutes of sleep. 

We are, none of us, unforgivable.  And for those of us in Christ, we are, none of us, unforgiven.

And that is the gloriously impossible Gospel.


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