Last night held so many different layers of experience for me. Beginning with Job’s heavy, hopeless words seemed like an ominous start, and yet, as we cried out to God, the one who heals the brokenhearted, something began to shift and rise. Having Psalm 34 read over us and the trumpet speak the sounds of our souls in a way we couldn’t with words, joined us together in remembering who God is and that our hope is secure in him. And how important this turned out to be as Deirdre JVR (“Dre”) led us into a deep understanding of approaching God for forgiveness.
Dre spoke about the first half of this line from the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Some of the things she said are really resonating with me today:
- By introducing the idea of forgiveness, Jesus brought a new way of relating to God and others that was totally contrary to the “eye-for-an-eye” approach that had been in place in the Jewish culture.
- Forgiveness is the oxygen of any relationship and it is the oxygen in our relationship with God.
- Most of us know we need God’s forgiveness, but we don’t know how to ask for it and/or we don’t know how to receive it.
As Dre led us through the two-minute exercise to reflect on the posture we take in approaching God when we are in need of forgiveness and the way we see his posture toward us, God illuminated something new for me. In that short time of reflection, I saw myself jumping up and down and waving my arms to get God’s attention. I realized that my default view of God is someone who is preoccupied and whose attention I have to work hard to attract. He’s not disinterested, but just doesn’t have time for me. What a distortion this is from who God really is: the father who sees me coming from a long way off, runs toward me, ready to throw his arms around me to welcome me with love and immediate forgiveness! (Luke 15:11-32) I need only look to the Communion table for evidence of this love and forgiveness.
I plan to sit with the story of the prodigal son this week in my quiet time and pray that God will reveal more about himself to me and correct my view of him. I also love the question Dre taught us to ask, “Holy Spirit, would you show me where I am still on the throne?” And, as Aaron asked: “Where in my life am I in a far off land, and need to come home?” Would you join me in these prayers? Is there a step home you can take this week?
May God reveal his true character to you and may you have the courage to turn to him and receive his love and forgiveness.
Peace to you,