Saturday, June 05, 2010

Greater than our sin

I went to graduation this evening for one of our local high schools.

Graduation is a celebration. It's a ritual right of passage as kids who have worked their way through 12 years of school prepare to take the next step.

At this particular graduation, the students' names were called, and they walked across the stage, shaking hands with Board of Education members, principals, etc. As each name was called, family members and friends applauded.

I noticed for some of the students, the applause was larger, the cheers were louder. I'm sure some of that had to do with the personality of their families, the number of family members present, the popularity of the student, etc. Some of it, though, I imagine had to do how close the student came to not graduating.

For some of these students, with great grades and high test schools, graduation was a foregone conclusion. I imagine that for some of these students, not graduating was never even considered.
For others, graduation was not expected. Reaching that milestone was a struggle. Grades weren't high, absences were many. When they walked across the stage, family members who had shared their struggles couldn't hold the joy in at the accomplishment before them.

‘A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.’ And Jesus* said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Luke 7:41-43
For those of us who have lived in sin, and who are aware of how far we have been from God, when God appears, there is great celebration. Those of us who believe God will never forgive us, that God would never grant us grace, find ourselves stunned by God when he appears. Our joy is great -- greater, perhaps, because of our sin.

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