May 8: sin (2 Samuel 15-16; Psalm 32; Matthew 25)

I don’t like to talk about sin. We don’t much like hearing about other people’s sin either, but given the choice I will talk about someone else’s sin over my own! And yet, it happens – sin happens. As I’ve gotten older I recognize more of what I have failed to do – and those moments are even more painful to me than the moments when I did what I should not have done.

The story of David has entered that phase in his life where the decisions of the past continue to unfold with great sadness. Sin has ripples that extend into the future and out into the lives of others. That happens because relationships are part of our lives and what we do and fail to do has impact. But then the psalmist says: Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds those who trust in him. (Psalm 32:10)

In Matthew 25, Jesus concludes a long discourse in which he denounces his own people and especially their leaders for their failure to live as God’s people should. There will be vindication for the faithful. And for those who are not? That frightening sentence is hard to ignore: throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30).  When Jesus speaks of someone being thrown into the darkness outside, it is important to remember that Jesus himself was on his way into the darkness where he himself would feel abandoned by God. And yet, there in the darkness was where God would accomplish the greatest act of all time – resurrection.

Even when we are at our worst, we are not left entirely alone. We are never far from redemption and resurrection. “the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds those who trust in him. Rejoice in the LORD and be glad…” (Psalm 32)

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