Friday, August 12, 2011

"When you pray...." Homily on the Lord's Prayer, Part 5: His Mercy (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

"...forgive us our sins...." Luke 11:4a

"It is through the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed...." Lam. 3:22

As riots rage elsewhere and unrest boils at home, there is the question about what exactly will it take to make the human animal behave itself. What will it take to make humanity behave humanely? What do we need? More laws? Less laws? More government assistance? Less government interference? None of the above. The truth is that it is forgiveness that we need. Not changes and proposals and improvements and utopic visions, but forgiveness for who we are at what we have done. It is not ourselves that we need to forgive, for we are not the one's offended. It is God who has been offended, Him and his holiness. We may forgive each other all day long if we like, but it will not do us one lick of good. Without the mercies of the Lord we will all be consumed, and He has called all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30).

When you pray, it would do you good to acknowledge this one great secret of the Christian life: day-by-day we are upheld by the mercies of God and nothing more. If it were not for Him, we would all perish; not just at Judgment Day, but everyday. We abide, safe and secure, by the mercies of our Lord. Take stock of your days and you will find that you did not need forgiveness merely on the day of your salvation; rather, you needed forgiveness everyday following, forgiveness that is yours because you belong to Christ (Colossians 3:3; I John 1:7). Everyday has sufficient evil unto itself, and thus everyday we need the mercies of God. It is God who keeps your foot from falling. It is God who saves you from the snares of the enemy and the snares of yourself. It is God who makes sure that "we are not consumed." He forgives our sins daily, and each moment from Him is a new beginning wherein we walk in newness of life.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2011

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