“Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for His steadfast love endure forever!” (Psalm 118:29 ESV) Here we go! Holiday time is coming up fast. We have Halloween, oops I mean Reformation, and Thanksgiving, the ladies have the Gingerbread Bazaar that they work toward all year, then Advent, then Christmas, does it feel like the clock is ticking, are you worried that you are behind. Don’t worry nobody is perfect, well, one man was, but He was God and man. The rest of us are a bundle of worry, stress and often failure, and the devil and the sinful world would love to point out your inadequacies.
“Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5 ESV) “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:19 ESV) “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9 ESV) “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosedin heaven.” (Matthew 18:18) This is the state of everyone. Even all of those who look like they have it all together. As a Pastor you get to see behind the curtains. Behind the curtains everyone has faults, everyone has struggles. We are all ducks on a pond attempting to look serene while paddling like crazy. One of the oaths taken by Pastors is to take the sins and shortcomings of those who confess their sin to him to his grave. An old saying is that the ear of your Pastor is a tomb for your sins. They go in, and don’t come out. It is comforting that someone is there to hear you when you know that you have sinned and that your confession of sins will go nowhere. However, there is something even better.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV) Those sins that are confessed, and even those sins that we are not aware of, are carried by Jesus to the cross. There the one who had no sin, God and man together, died so that we may live. We are not found innocent because we have done well enough, or struggled hard enough. We are found innocent because Jesus called us His own. We are baptized into Him. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:3-5) Go on. Walk in that newness of life. Live sure of the resurrection. As you struggle and paddle like crazy know who you are. A child of God. An heir of heaven. One forgiven by Jesus’ incredible sacrifice. Feel the burden lifted from you. You are free in Christ Jesus and forgiven. Have a blessed Thanksgiving and holidays. Give thanks, and enjoy the hustle and bustle. “Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for His steadfast love endure forever!” (Psalm 118:29 ESV)