Grace and Peace to you.
Christ … offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins…. By a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified…. The Lord says, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
—from Hebrews 10. 12-18
Imagining our relationship with God in terms of sin and burnt offerings may seem archaic, but it speaks to where we’re at. We are haunted deep down by a sense that we’re not “making it,” that we’ve done something wrong, that we’re not good enough, that there’s something we need to do to be OK with God—or for God to be OK with us. But the good news is that this is not true. Whatever shortcoming there is between who we are and who we were created to be, whatever deficiency we feel there is in us, whatever gap is between us and God—God fills it. God in us makes up the difference between who we are and who we are afraid we “ought” to be. We are perfected—just right for God.
This doesn’t mean we’re perfect, or that we don’t need to repent, or that we are not always continually becoming someone new; nor does it mean there aren’t consequences of our hurtful choices. It means that we don’t have to do anything to be acceptable to God. We don’t have to make up for anything or prove anything or pay for anything. We don’t have to do penance. Sure, we’ve done awful things. But God lets go of them. God dwells in the present moment, not the past, and invites us to start fresh each new moment. Of course God has to let go of a lot to do that. That’s the whole point of this “sacrifice” language: whatever has to be sacrificed for us to be close to God, God has sacrificed. We don’t have to. It’s done.
God invites us into the present moment, invites us to be present for God, who is perfectly present for us. Start now. Come as you are. No cover charge, no entrance requirements, no dress code. Just be here. Really, you already are.
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