Do you ever worry that you have done something so bad that if anyone knew you would be rejected? Something totally unforgivable?
Or perhaps you think you’re not too bad, you’ve never done anything too wrong, nothing to get worried about?
Being Thankful for God’s Kindness
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord. He has given me the strength for my work because he knew that he could trust me. 13 I used to say terrible and insulting things about him, and I was cruel. But he had mercy on me because I didn’t know what I was doing, and I had not yet put my faith in him. 14 Christ Jesus our Lord was very kind to me. He has greatly blessed my life with faith and love just like his own.
15 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” This saying is true, and it can be trusted. I was the worst sinner of all! 16 But since I was worse than anyone else, God had mercy on me and let me be an example of the endless patience of Christ Jesus. He did this so that others would put their faith in Christ and have eternal life. 17 I pray that honor and glory will always be given to the only God, who lives forever and is the invisible and eternal King! Amen.
The lectionary reading this week move quite beautifully along. From failing to acknowledge God and trying to replace him with something tangible, through acknowledging how far from God’s ways we have been – to now a realisation of how much we have to be thankful to him for.
In this reading there is a realisation, however awful we were, whatever we might have said and done, God, in Jesus shows kindness and understanding. He knows where the writer was, and gets it. There is no blame, no withholding of blessings or gifts – just kindness and blessing.
However far we wandered, Jesus came into the world for each one of us. No one is too bad, or done the unforgivable. God has endless patience, endless mercy – and he gives it, not just to Paul, but to you and I too.
If we think on that, how does it make us feel?
I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel relieved and grateful – and so I come in thanks to the God who understands me so much, and came into the word to save me from myself and the stupid things I do.
I want to thank you
for your kindness,
Thank you for coming to save me,
and each and every one of us.
Thank you that nothing I have done is too much
for you to take,
takes me too far for you to reach me.
Thank you for reaching out to me
Thank you for your patience with me.
I put my trust in you,
and pray that honour and glory
will go to you