Completing The Circuit Of Forgiveness
“For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new. All this is God’s doing, for he has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ; and he has made us agents of the reconciliation. God was in Christ personally reconciling the world to him—not counting their sins against them—and has commissioned us with the message of reconciliation.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (Phillips)
There have been occasions when I’ve come back home after dark and found I’ve forgotten to leave the outside light on. Suddenly what was so familiar in daylight has become worryingly uncertain and I find myself walking cautiously, no longer sure of my footing and concerned lest I trip. I just need to get to the outside light and put it on. After all, everything else is already in place: the power, the wiring and the bulb. I put my hand on the switch and my world changes dramatically: the wind blowing through the trees and the bushes no longer unsettle me, the path is clear and I walk securely and confidently to the door.
Just as the power and light are ready and waiting to guide the way to my door, everything is already in place for us to be reconciled to God too. I know the thought that forgiveness is already there before our repentance can make us blink, but if repentance comes first then the grace of God is conditional and rests on our works and Paul tells us that God was reconciling us in Christ. Jesus cried out at the end of the long dark hours of his crucifixion: “It is finished” (John 19:30). All that had to done in his mortal life had been done. Our relationship with God may not yet be established, but everything is there, ready for it, including way-opening forgiveness. What remains is for us to be brought to see our need.
Our turning to him is our response to the grace of God, to what he has done for us long, long before in Jesus Christ. There was a time when we stumbled in the dark, unaware of or rejecting God, imagining that we could manage to get through life quite well on our own. But his loving forgiveness was there, waiting for us. We were led to the ‘switch’ of faith, we put our hands up to God, and the circuit was complete, lighting up our lives in the power of the Spirit and giving us a full and enduring relationship as a child of God, forgiven and accepted.
Father, you have dealt with our sin once and for all, you have made the way open for us to find forgiveness, and you have led us into your presence where there is fullness of joy.
Study by Hilary Buck _________________________________________________________
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
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