Happy sixth day of Christmas, y’all!
We’re half way through the season of Christmas and I pray these posts are providing a way to help us all reflect on our relationship with God and how we can grow closer with God and each other as we follow Jesus into the coming year. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
On the sixth day of Christmas, Yahweh gives to us: Forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not an action or a duty, it is a state of being. We ARE forgiven. Regardless of anything we may have done in our past, present, or future, God welcomes us into the kingdom so that we can live on earth as it is in heaven.
So, you may be asking, “if we are already forgiven, why do we need to confess our sins and ask for God’s forgiveness?” I’m so glad you asked!
Our act of confession and asking isn’t about changing God’s opinion of us, it’s about our understanding and acceptance of who God is and who we are in relationship with God.
Asking for forgiveness is about acknowledging that we have chosen to live our own way, to put ourselves and what we want to do first. It is admitting that we have tried to segment God to just certain areas of our life and put ourselves in charge of the rest.
The fancy theology word for it is repent, which means to turn around or to change one’s mind. Asking for forgiveness, the act of repentance, is turning from our way of living to the way of life Jesus teaches us, the way we are created to live.
Asking God’s forgiveness is an act of self-examination, not in order to beat yourself up about anything, and definitely not because God wants to condemn us. The purpose of self-examination is to identify how we need to grow in our relationship with God so that all of our human relationships grow more healthy, too!
When Jesus says, “repent for the kingdom of God is at hand” he isn’t condemning us but inviting us to turn toward God, to live in God’s kingdom as God’s beloved children here and now, on earth as it is in heaven.
So, on this sixth day of Christmas, I invite you into a time of self-reflection and examination. Hear Jesus say gently and lovingly “follow me and I will lead you on a journey of life as God wants you to experience it, grounded in love and compassion.”