Sunday, April 19, 2009

forgive AND forget

i grew up in the catholic church. so now that i attend an anglican church, the liturgy is very unsurprising. very. it's not often that something new jumps out at me. but this sunday i was struck in a way so very unfamiliar by some very familiar words:

The Lord has promised to remove our sin from us as far as the east is from the west. When the Lord forgives our sin, He remembers it no more.

we have a God who is So Big. He knows everything, sees everything, understands everything...past, present, and future. and yet He forgets. He forgets. He doesn't just forgive.

how many of us can say that? i certainly can't. sure, i'll forgive you, but will i really forget--in the sense that the offense is absolutely gone--how i was wronged? doubtful.

but with God, we always have a clean slate. He does not think, "oh, she did it again," or, "won't she ever learn?" each time we wrong God--after thousands and thousands and thousands of times--it's as if there's no history of having done the same, no future full of the same offenses. we're totally clean, totally forgiven, our offenses totally forgotten every time.

our God forgets. we, forgetful people as we are, can't get a million little offenses out of our minds. oh, we can forget God's goodness to us, His faithfulness, His love. we follow in big footsteps historically; even as He rescued them from slavery in egypt, God's people forgot His care for them--day after day after day--and grumbled against Him. but do we forget our neighbors' mistakes? our friends' betrayals? no matter how much we forgive, it's so much harder to forget.

so here's the big news: when God forgets, the offense is gone. because it's all His. and if He gives it up--or more accurately, takes it away--it doesn't exist anymore. it is gone. all those offenses i've been can i forget to praise God for his forgetfulness?

1 comment:

Alex said...

nice work, daniele.

i think some day you and sam should put together a book of reflections and blog posts from all the hard-earned wisdom that you've gained over the past 3 years!

but only if i get an autographed copy. and maybe a mention in the forward. or maybe in the dedication: 'to alex, the wind beneath our wings.' something like that.