Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Easter: Year 1
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1st John 2:1 and 2)
I need to read and hear these words from Saint John often. I truly am a little child in the faith. However, I fall into sin just like all others. Not long ago I preached on Dietrich Bonheoffer, Pastor and activist. Bonheoffer was shown to have conspired to have Hitler killed. He wrote “The Cost of Discipleship.” Sin is a very confusing thing. Only God knows the mind and heart of a person.
While I will admit that I have not conspired to kill anyone, I have had thoughts, and actions that are contrary to what most accept as Christian behavior. And, in my own defense, not all Christians are on the same page. I am on the Episcopal path of the Jesus movement where same-sex marriage by consenting, loving adults is supported by our faith community. As an Episcopal Priest I have conducted a same sex marriage. I think it was one of the best weddings that I have ever done. And, in no way am I saying this is a sin. However, in some Christian traditions it may be. What is real sin is determined by God, not humanity.
My sins are between me, my confessor, and my God. Your sins are between you and whomever you trust and God. But we can take great comfort in knowing that our Lord Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world. This comfort is not a license to sin, but rather, a call to repentance and reconciliation. Our Lord Jesus gives us the opportunity to live more fully into an open and loving relationship with God and with all the world.
Let us live to love, more than we just love to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John