“And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10, NRSV)
How many of us come to church, or our devotional time, with a guilty conscience? We are acutely aware of “what we have done” and “what we have left undone,” as a prayer of confession we Episcopalians pray each Sunday puts it. That is all well and good. We all have room for improvement as human beings and as the people of God. However, we are not put into right relationship with our “good” deeds, nor do we destroy God’s relationship with us through the things that we do or don’t do.
As His redeemed people, we are forgiven, period. We have work to do, with ourselves and with others, because God chooses to do His work through us. There is much in ourselves and in the world around us to put right. We can embark on that work knowing that whether we succeed or whether we fail, we are loved by God. Out of that love He will equip us to do what needs to be done.
“Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you have made us your children. Whether we succeed or fail at being who you intend for us to be, make us know that we will always be your children and that You will never give up on us or stop working through us. In the midst of that work, give us patience, hope, and love. Amen.”
– Fr. Larry Parrish, St. Thomas Episcopal Church