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Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Love That Covers a Multitude of Sins

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[December 04, 2008]- As I have prepared for this sermon, I have found myself oddly thankful for sin.  Now, I understand that sin causes far more pain than it alleviates but in many ways, it is the great equalizer.  How many times have you found yourself left hurt or disappointed only to utter the words, “well, nobody is perfect?”  We are reminded of the sinful nature of humanity everyday from the grand examples of piracy in Somalia and suicide bombings in Iraq to the tiny moments of personal pain inflicted by the harsh words of a stranger or the careless actions of a loved one.  Sin, in all its horrors and pains, truly unites all of us. 

Civic“Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” - John 8: 7

This unity has obvious theological implications for us but we will explore those later.  Today, it is my hope that you will remember that all of us fall short in our lives and each of us hurts our loved ones on occasion.  As you gather around the Thanksgiving table on Thursday with your family and all of its attendant issues, arguments and history, I hope you will be able to step back for a moment and remember that whatever water has passed under your family’s bridge in the past, now is a time to celebrate the fact that—through thick and thin—you are still together. While this week you might be offered the occasion to remember all the great things about yourself and all the crummy things about your family, I hope that for one day you will be able to release any wrongs you have experienced and in the same manner ask forgiveness for your shortcomings.  The great gift of sin is that when we remember that all of us sin and fall short of the glory of God we are allowed to offer forgiveness and grace with renewed hope.  So give thanks for sin that on this count at least we are all equals.

Prayer:  Holy God, I am a sinner.  Help me to see the failings in my own life and to forgive the shortcomings of those around me.  I ask this in the name of Jesus the Christ.  Amen.

[Phil Blackburn, minister of First Presbyterian Church, Lincoln]



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