Purified conscience

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         The blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit
         offered himself without blemish to God,
         will purify our conscience from dead works
         to worship the living God!

                       —Hebrews 9.14

Here we go again.
“Jesus died for your sins,” right?
His blood for your benefit, right?
This is not a deal,
some arcane transaction
between a pious sheep and a bloodthirsty God.
This piece comes up in Sunday’s Lectionary,
along with a bit from the book of Ruth:
Naomi, a newly widowed foreigner, is going home.
Her daughter-in-law Ruth promises to go with her:

         “Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge;
         your people shall be my people, and your God my God.
         Where you die, I will die.”
(Ruth 1.16-17)

That explains Jesus’ death.
He’s not trading places; he’s staying with us,
even in our death.
God isn’t demanding a sacrifice (Jesus paying the bill.)
God is making the sacrifice, to be with us no matter what—
on the cross enduring both our suffering and our causing suffering—
forgiving and accompanying us.

There’s nothing left in our conscience to keep us from God.
God has promised to be With Us Forever No Matter What.
Move on, then, and let your whole life be thanks
and worship.

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