Belonging in Forgiveness

May 24, 2022

1 Peter 1.17-19

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.

In the midst of doing some cooking for other people, I sat for coffee with a few from the community.  In the conversation I was asked what I had been doing.  They wondered why we would be making meals for people who did not go to our church and lived in a place that was not likely to bring them to our church.  And the answer is quite simple.  We don’t do things for others so that they will join us.  We don’t do things for others because it will make us special in God’s eyes or earn us a better place.  We do things because we are forgiven by God and we already fully belong to God and with God.

Peter reminds us today that we are not redeemed by our own works or our own wealth.  Only through the blood of Christ are we redeemed.  The catechism reminds us that Jesus has fully paid of our sins.  Not paying the portion we were unable, but every bit of our debt (which is the portion we can’t pay).  We belong because we are forgiven.  We take part because we belong in that same forgiveness.

SongWho Am I

Prayer

Gracious God, you have called us to be a new community in Christ, and yet we remain divided.  Forgive us our fear, anxiety, prejudice, and misunderstandings.  Strengthen our common bonds and deepen our resolve to promote the unity of your church.  Amen.