Monday, February 7, 2011

In Remembrance

Taking communion at church has always been a somber and serious experience for me, though no less amazing in what it calls me to remember.

From a very young age, I was taught that it was a time to quietly pray, to remember Jesus' sacrifice, and to ask for forgiveness for my sins. It was a serious time, not to be taken lightly.

As I grew older, I always worked hard to keep the correct mind-set while taking communion. I didn't want it to become a ritual, a time that I merely went through the motions.

Communion has always been a time for me to search my heart and confess what I have done wrong, in thought and deed. Though lately, I had found myself asking for forgiveness multiple times for the same offense.

This past Sunday was no different, although this time, I caught myself. If I ask for forgiveness for the same sin multiple times, doesn't that mean I don't think it was forgiven the first time?

This thought was something of a slap in the face. Did I really think that God wasn't forgiving me, even though I knew that the Bible stated time and time again that God does forgive us? I realized that to continually ask God to forgive me for something he had already forgotten was on par with saying that God wasn't forgiving at all.

It was in that moment that I knew I had to let it go. If I really believed that God forgave me each time I asked, then I only needed to ask once. Jesus died once, a sacrifice for every sin ever committed. His blood was spilled one time, to wash away all sin. Once is all it takes for God to forgive and forget because of Jesus' sacrifice. Not two times or five or ten. He doesn't need our continual groveling or attempts at mending the wrong.

So I resolved to ask for forgiveness just once when I committed a sin. I resolved to truly believe the reality of God's love and Jesus' sacrifice. And I resolved to allow the freedom of grace to overshadow residual guilt.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:1-4

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