We often speak of sin as a separation from God. In a sense this is true. However, it is only a separation from our point of view. We are like small children who hide by covering their eyes, as if the one seeking them cannot find them if they cannot see him. Sin alienates us from God but He is never alienated from us. We belong to Him as His dear creation. Sin blinds us to His presence, and our ego which resists repentance insists that we cannot approach Him and that we have lost His love. We sin in the first place because we allow our pride to reject His claim on us and on the claim of love which our brothers and sisters have on us. That pride first denies that we have sinned and that we really never offend God or others or that our offense is justified by their offenses. However, if perhaps we let down our selfcenteredness enough to admit we may have sinned, pride then rises up to say that we have lost our access to Him. Both of these are lies. “There is no one who does not sin,” (III Kingdoms 8:44) daily, even hourly — if not in deed or work, certainly in thought. But God is always present, as near as our very breath, awaiting our return. His love is always close enough to hear when our heart whispers, “Lord, forgive me.”

When we repent God does more than forgive. He also renews and strengthens. Solomon continues, “For to know You is complete righteousness, and to know your might is the root of immortality” (15:3). We sin because we are full of ourselves and leave no room for grace. Opening the heart and emptying out our pride allows God’s mighty grace to flow in. His righteousness permeates our life, squeezing out our sin and filling us to overflowing with selfless love. God’s might does not intimidate or coerce us. Rather, it restores and imbues us with the life of the Kingdom. His might does not force us into something alien, but enables us to achieve our true self, reflecting His image and likeness. His power operates when we acknowledge that we do indeed belong to Him and desire to know in our inmost soul eternal life in His grace.

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