Sunday 22 April 2012 – Podcast
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away. Acts 3:19
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. 1 John 2: 3
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luke 24:46-47
Repentance! Thus we are called to God during this time of Easter. Jesus died for us – not just the Jews, but them also. Not just the disciples. He died so that the sins of the whole world be wiped away. Those of us who have heard the good news are called to preach forgiveness of sins in His name!
What a wonderful gift. A true calling – to preach forgiveness of sins in the Lord’s name. Jesus does not talk about condemning others. We are called to convert and to preach conversion to others. But that conversion belongs to the other. That repentance belongs to the other. How long, Oh Lord, have we missed your call – that sins have been wiped away – not for us to judge or condemn, but only to call to conversion, to preach forgiveness of sins in Your Name?
Recently, I spoke with a woman who could not figure out how to speak with her son who disagreed with her on politics, on morality, on the existence of God. I know I have been in that place many times – how to talk to someone with whom I disagree so much. In my very gut, I felt they were wrong. I condemned them for their beliefs. But that’s because I did not listen to the Gospel message – He is expiation for our sins.
What does Jesus say to the apostles when He sees them over and over: Peace Be With You. Can we not find it in our hearts to say that to those with whom we disagree? If Christ can forgive our sins after suffering on the cross for us, who are we – who am I – not to forgive? Who am I even to judge that the other has sinned? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!
We are called to preach the good news of forgiveness, of Christ’s death and resurrection for us, so that some day, we too may have flesh and bones in a new life and eat fish and break bread with our Lord and with each other.