I am very thankful today. Not only is it Thanksgiving Day and I have just cooked the most awesome looking turkey you have ever seen but it is my birthday today. 45 years ago today was also Thanksgiving Day prompting my mother to remark that she had a turkey for Thanksgiving. Thanks Mom, you earned the right for the jab!
I have been reading in 1 John lately. This is a very challenging book. Love one another, love one another, love, love, love- I can't take it anymore! Ok, I don't measure up, lighten up already.... But then of course, John's point is not that we should all weep with guilt for our lack of love but to encourage us to find the love that is available. Tucked away in the beginning of chapter two is this little gem, '... but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.' The whole world? That's a lot of sin. That's a lot of sacrifice. That's my God! He is enough. Do you see what this means? Stop just looking at yourself. He says that Jesus' sacrifice is enough for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD. Sin still happens it just can't stop relationship anymore. You and I can not sin a sin that would separate us from God ever again. We do remain separated from God but not because of our sin- it is dealt with- but because of our delusion that our sin still matters. If I am truly becoming like Jesus it also means that you can not sin a sin that would make you my enemy. Jesus loves everyone. Why? Because in spite of the fact that they continue to sin and hurt themselves and others He sees them as He can now create them to be. Saints. This is not just true of a few really good people but it is true of the whole world. Forgiveness can happen now because sin is dealt with forever. It not only means that within the great family of Faith that we can have relationships that are deep and meaningful but now we can have such relationships with the whole world. His sacrifice was enough. The irritating neighbor, the disloyal friend, the persistent enemy, the corrupt government official, the radical Muslim cleric, everyone can now receive the love of God- and your love too. What a God we serve. I am thankful today that my sin is dealt with. But I am equally thankful that He has dealt a deathblow to the sins of the whole world. They only have the power of delusion now. Delusion is powerful indeed. I am not talking about Universalism here, delusion destroys relationships. It can make a man believe that his redeemed brother is his enemy. It can lead a man to believe he is not welcome in the presence of God. It is a lie and our job is to announce the good news that the lie is false and powerless. We do this in many ways but mostly we announce this lie by living as if it were a lie. We love others sacrificially in spite of their sin which the world insist matters so much. Go out today and live a loving sacrificial life and put to death the lie that sin matters. Jesus has dealt with it forever- Praise Him forever.