Greg shared with me this sermon from Richard A. Jordan he read online this morning. It's worth sharing with you, and, more importantly, digesting deep into my heart, especially as a mother.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." --Lamentations 3:22-24
Children are mirrors of ourselves, if we have the eyes to see it, and the ears to hear it. What a child when they are angry, and you may catch a glimpse at a parent. You see, children don’t know how to be angry by themselves, they learn it. Do you stamp your foot, do you put your hand on your hips, do you shake your finger, do you reason softly? Children are taught many things, some things we may have to teach them, like tying their shoes, but many things are learned as they watch what we do, and hear what we say.
And while in some ways children are a lot like us, there are other ways in which they are completely different. Children have a faith which is different than ours. Children trust in a way which is different than us. And children forgive in a way which is different that we do. For example, two children are fighting, and are stopped, 10 minutes pass, and they forget that they were fighting, and are friends again playing nicely. How can this be? It seems that children are taught to remember, and are taught what they should remember. They are taught about revenge and getting even. Who would teach such things?
And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. --Matthew 18:2-3
For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. --Matthew 17:20
Why is this important? Well, I keep people saying we are too old to change. Yet this is exactly what God works in us in Baptism, he works change, it is a new beginning, we are born again … so that by the power of God we can become the children of God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. What we cannot do, God does for us. And so it is, that by the grace of God, every morning is a new beginning. It is possible because God forgives and forgets.
The only thing that keeps us from the steadfast love of the lord and his mercy, is us. Sometimes we are unwilling to let go of our sins, or our guilt. Holding on to the past, we find ourselves more and more burdened with all sort of things we should and ought do, and never enough time to get it done, and it paralyzes us, preventing us from doing anything. And then we feel sorry for ourselves, forgetting that we were the ones who held up the umbrella to prevent the mercy and grace of God from raining into our lives. It wasn’t the devil who did it to us, not that he didn’t encourage us, but we are the ones who are blocking the grace of God from entering our lives.
And without the grace of God, and his mercy new every day, we loose hope, and are discouraged. So perhaps we ought put away the umbrella, and invite God into our life, and allow his grace, mercy and love to fill our hearts and lives. For our faithful God who loves us greatly has given us an everlasting hope, and each day, a new beginning.
Now if this is good for us, why would we try to pull other back to a life of slavery? For it is one thing, when we hold the grace of God from us alone. It is another thing when we with old the grace of God from others, reminding them of the past, and bringing up the burdens that were cast on the Lord, telling them that they should carry their own load. And not only do we do this to others intentionally, but by our example we teach others to remember sins and to forget about God and his mercy.
Seems like we’ve got it backwards. We bring our sins to God, so that he can help us overcome them, and that they may be forgiven and forgotten, according to God’s plan the only thing we are to remember is the forgiveness that is ours in Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the grace and mercy which are new every morning. This is what we have hope, and this is the faith that leads us to life everlasting in Jesus Christ.