Tuesday, August 12, 2008

East and West

Psalm 103:8-14

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 for ever.
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 towards those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.

On my recent trip through several states, while driving through the night and trying to stay awake and alert to watch for critters, which I inevitably would hit anyway, I got to thinking about how far our sins are removed from us by God's gracious work in Christ Jesus. They're removed as far as the East is from the West, but how far is that, really? I mean, really, if you think about it, where East ends, West could be thought to begin. That would mean they're not very far apart at all. However, this drive took me from Interstate to Interstate, and I thought about Eastbound and Westbound traffic. They're only a median apart, and yet they never meet. East goes its way and west goes its, all the while, but they never meet.

What does all this talk about Interstates have anything to do with how far our transgressions are removed from us? Good question. The way I see it, when our transgressions are taken away, it's like they never happened. It's not like God keeps a ledger of who does what wrong and when. In Christ, the richness of grace is showered upon us. Maybe, in baptism, when we are baptized into Christ's death, the old person who has been drowned in the waters of baptism can no longer meet the new person who is made alive in Christ. The forgiveness we are freely given keeps us going along those Interstates, still ourselves seeing what we have done and what we continue to do, and yet trusting in God's grace in Jesus to bring us ever closer to Christ.

Hmm. Well, it's late, and this idea is still pretty new to me. Maybe I'm not making any sense, but I thought, what the hay? I am only awake right now because I'm doing laundry so I can go back to the Castle later today. I'ma go visit Grandma at her nursing home, which I would have done on Sunday, but I can only handle one nursing home a day, and maybe stop by my church if Pastor is there, and then head on out. It's time to return to the land of adult interaction every day. Have a good one.

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