Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A sister in Christ told me that she once screamed at a stranger.  I am not sure hearing that made me less wretched for my behavior, but I am glad she told me her story.

A few days ago, Pastor W wrote me:

Your God loves you so very much, Myrtle.  His love for you is not conditioned on your behavior, but your behavior will be shaped by His love.  You can count on that.  His love has its way with us when we simply let Him give Himself to us.  And He transforms us slowly and surelybroken, damaged pottery that each of us isinto vessels of His love for others.  

My first thought was:  I have no blooming clue how to let Him give Himself to me.  Now, I think:  Somehow, I do not believe God's love conditioned me to scream at someone.

Later he wrote:

Certainly it is true that the blood of Christ in which the absolution is grounded has wiped out all sinsthose we commit, those committed against us, every last one!  To be absolved is to be dumped into the ocean of God's forgiveness, where His perfect justice is the blotting out of all sin by grace. 

I want to understand that ocean.

They reach for the bread, just as Psalm 42:1 says of a hunted deer, burning in the heat with thirst, "As a dear pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God." In other words, as a dear with anxious and trembling eagerness strains toward a fresh flowing stream, so I yearn anxiously and tremblingly for God's Word, Absolution, the Sacrament, and so forth."  [LC, Part V, 32-33]

Lord I believe.  Help my unbelief!

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