Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Turn Again... and again and again

“God dwells with us in darkness, 
and makes the night as day;
Yet we resist the brightness,
and turn from God away.
But grace does not forsake us,
however far we run.
God claims us still as children
through Mary’s infant Son.”
“The Night Will Soon Be Ending”
Jochen Klepper
Germany, 1938

Luke 7:36-50
Have you ever done something really, really bad? Something that you thought there was no way anyone could ever forgive? Something you couldn't take back or make up for? Something you've already asked to be forgiven of a million times, and you did it again? When we take God’s Law seriously as it's given to us in Scripture, we see our sins multiply tenfold. And the person we offend by them is someone greater than our parents or our husbands and wives or our bosses, and the penalty is much more than a night on the couch or a month’s grounding.

Sometimes, it feels like we'll never get it right, that we'll never be good enough, that God will never take us back after we've offended Him so gravely, so many times. But Jesus’ life on earth, His death and His resurrection, solidified the fact that God will never turn us away. We can go to Him and confess everything, (and I mean everythingthe absolute worst of our sins that we would never ever tell another living soul about), and we will be forgiven every single time because Jesus died for us. Grace does not forsake us.

However far you think you've run, and no matter how many times, you can always turn back. That's not an excuse to sin boldly (Romans 6). It's a reason to come home. Click here to find a church near you.

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.” Acts 3:19

For more on Forgiveness, click here.

**I am very sorry that couldn't find a recording of "The Night Will Soon Be Ending" that did the beautiful hymn any kind of justice, so I substituted my Mom's favorite Christmas song, which holds a surprisingly religious message. Anyway, here's the full text for "The Night Will Soon Be Ending." Please note this hymn was written in Germany in 1938, at the height of Nazi oppression.

The night will soon be ending; the dawn cannot be far.
Let songs of praise ascending now greet the Morning Star!
All you whom darkness frightens with guilt or grief or pain,
God's radiant Star now brightens and bids you sing again.

The One whom angels tended comes near, a child, to serve.
Thus God, the Judge offended, bears all our sins deserve.
The guilty need not cower, for God has reconciled
through His redemptive power all those who trust this Child.

The earth in sure rotation will soon bring morning bright,
so run where God's salvation glows in a stable's light.
As old as sin's perversion is mercy's vast design:
God brings a new creation--this Child its seal and sign.

Yet nights will bring their sadness and rob our hearts of peace,
and sin in all its madness around us may increase.
But now one Star is beaming whose rays have pierced the night:
God comes for our redeeming from sin's oppressive might.

God dwells with us in darkness and makes the night as day,
yet we resist the brightness and turn from God away.
But grace does not forsake us however far we run.
God claims us as His children through Mary's infant Son.

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