[This post is the sixth in a series of devotions on forgiveness that I first published last year in a leaders’ devotional book, "Disciplines 2013" from The Upper Room. This is based on a reading found in II Corinthians 5:18-21]

God loves creation.  Divine life creates the world and declares it good.  All creatures are gifts of God.  God ‘s love is attentive and enjoys being in right relationship with the created order.  God creates partners with whom to discover the way life can be lived fully and faithfully.  God’s goal is the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven.

Therefore, God is committed to not holding our sins against us. In Christ, that is, through mercy and forgiveness, God acts to reconcile us with each other and with the divine will.  God’s agenda is to break down the walls of pain and injustice that divide us from the good that was created.  God has chosen those who claim Christ as Lord to be partners or ambassadors for Christ in the creation of a new world that reflects the divine desire of justice and mercy.

That new world will be different from the previous one. Our experiences, our mistakes, our discoveries, our achievements and failures will all be taken into the Divine heart through “the one who knew no sin” and will give shape and form to the new world that is being created.  Because God returns to us and does not hold our mistakes against us, we can be bold in our living, trying and failing, picking ourselves and each other up and trying again.  The future world of a reconciled people keeps calling us forward into new action. 

When we allow the mistakes, the hurt and pain of past offenses to capture us and create prison bars to keep us away from a new and reconciled future, we deny God the insights of our experience. We are kept from offering ourselves, broken and incomplete, for the service of God’s design.  Therefore, receiving Divine forgiveness is the devotional imperative of those who seek to follow Christ.  Are you open to be free to join God in an innovative future of grace and justice?

Beloved of all, take our hands and walk with us into your divine future.