LENTEN DEVOTION for Monday, March 19



Loving God, let me know of your care this day.



A soldier asked Abba Mius if God accepted repentance. After the old man had taught him many things he said, "Tell me, my dear, if your cloak is torn, do you throw it away?" He replied, "No, I mend it and use it again." The old man said to him, "If you are so careful about your cloak, will not God be equally careful about his creature?"
God said to Jeremiah: "No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:34) 


Some of us find it hard to believe that God is forgiving. There is, in our culture, the perpetuated myth that God is absolutely angry at us. We have done wrong to others and have not been forgiven by them. Something we have done in the past still burdens us in the present. We hold a grudge against another. For these reasons, it is hard to believe that God is forgiving. Our capacity to believe we are forgiven by God is bound up with our capacity to forgive. That is why Jesus teaches us to pray, "forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us."

The soldier who approached Abba Mius wonders about God's forgiveness. He lives in a world that is unforgiving. He is surrounded by people who neither forgive nor forget. He finds it hard to pardon his own sins. He still cannot excuse some of the hurt that has been done to him. This is why he wonders if God can forgive him.

Like Jesus, Abba Mius pulls from an ordinary, everyday experience to say something about God. Just like you mend a torn cloak, so God mends a person torn apart by sin. God treats with care that which has been worn out by transgression. God does not let us get ripped up and thrown away. God is a potter, a sower, and a mender.

What will it take for us to believe this about God? Will we have to deny some long held beliefs about God? Will we have to learn to forgive ourselves? Will we have to make amends? Will have to pardon another? What amends have we to make for God to mend our hearts? 


God above, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Amen.  

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