Friday, February 27, 2009
Getting Out of Debt
2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10; Joel 2:1-2; 12-14
(To read the strange dream I had last night - these are getting very common - jump down to the next post)
We're talking about a more important kind of debt than you might first think of. Debt to God. Today's passage from Paul is a beautiful bit of writing by Paul about what it looks like live as "ambassadors for reconciliation." The theme, though, is getting people reconciled to God - a good start for Lent, with the focus on repentance & forgiveness for this communion Sunday. It's rather amazing to think about what Paul was willing, even eager, to suffer if he could reconcile people to God. We don't even like being taken lightly. This guy was tough as nails. He knew what God created him for. He had purpose and drive.
But this Sunday we'll really be focusing more on the Joel 2 passage as we start the Lenten seasion. God says,
"Yet even now, return to me with all your heart - with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear your hearts, not just your garments. Return to the Lord your God for he is merciful and compassionate..."
Someone needs to bend that into a song. It's so beautiful, this idea of God waiting for us to return to him humbly, completely. Picture the broken prodigal son who comes to his senses, Jesus says, and turns back to home. The Father is at the door of his home, searching for the lost son. How long had the son been gone? How long had the father waited; scanning the horizon for his rebellious son? And when he sees him, he runs to the boy, lavishing undeserved love and forgiveness upon him. So it is for me. And you.
As Lent begins, it is good to consider ways that we've been prodigals. Take a look at your heart. Tear it open, no matter how vile and ugly it might feel inside. For God is compassionate and merciful.