Sunday, March 24, 2013

Caught in sin

Once my father built a manger to feed hay to our cows. The manger had a wedge shape top loader with vertical slats about six inches apart. One would put hay in the top where it would remain clean and dry for the cows who would eat it by tugging at the hay drawing it through the slats. The cows took to it immediately. As the hay was nearly all consumed, one cow reached her head in for the last bits. When she tried to pull her head back, she found that it was stuck. She panicked. She started flailing about and bucking, trying to get her head loose. Before we knew what was happening, she had flung the manger with her head still stuck in it into a muddy pond in the middle of the pasture. The pond was deep enough that she could have drowned in it, but the frightened cow managed to keep her head above water. She was truly stuck and we were dumbfounded as to how to get her and the manger out of the marshy pond. I can't remember exactly how we did it. We tried several things, and neighbors came to help. Eventually we did get her loose of the manger, and she sprang out of the pond when she got the chance.

I wonder sometimes if this is not how our heavenly Father views us when we fall into sin. What was meant to feed us becomes a trap. Our heads get stuck in it, and the more we toss about, the worse it becomes. We may even find ourselves in such a condition that we cannot free ourselves. The Father loves us no less, but will jump in and do what ever it takes to set us free. Not only the Father and his Son, but a few good neighbors--whatever it takes.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Forgive one another

The trouble with sin is not that it keeps God from loving us. The trouble is that sin keeps us from loving and forgiving each other and ourselves. Sin keeps us from loving God as God loves each of us.  So I say, Jesus did not die so that God could forgive you. Jesus died so that we might forgive each other. He dies so that we might lay down our weapons and insults, our grudges and pain, our pettiness and pride. He dies that we might release one another from bondage, guilt and shame. He dies that we might embrace each other as sisters and brothers, children of one holy Parent, children made whole. When we do this--in whatever measure we can--the Father's broken heart is made whole. So I say, forgive one another.