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Romans 6:1-14, Hope of Resurrection

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
— Romans 6:3

NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, June 2, 2019

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff

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Main Idea: Even though God forgives sin, our sin still has consequences. aka: Even though our sin has consequences, God still forgives us our sins.

Paul knew that people, even Christian people, were prone to sin. He also knew that the risen Christ had forgiven all sin. He proclaimed Christ’s forgiveness to all the communities he visited.

But he also knew the promise of forgiveness came with the possibility of a misinterpretation of how people were to behave. The promise of forgiveness was not permission to behave any way they wanted. The consequences of sin remain, even when the sin is itself forgiven. And those consequences harm the sinner and others.

If you run into the street against a red light and get hit by a car, you might be forgiven for running out into the street, but you still must live with the aftermath of the accident. If you cheat on a spouse, that spouse may choose to forgive, but there will still be rippling consequences—you will have to work hard to rebuild trust, and the relationship will never be the same. Sin comes with consequences, whether forgiven or not.

So, what then, can we do? We can work hard to make good choices. We can do the hard work of self-reflection, acceptance, and forgiveness for the things we are not proud of. We can seek forgiveness from others. We can forgive ourselves despite another’s unwillingness to forgive. We can forgive others. We can confess, repent, and be forgiven by God. We can be hard on ourselves when necessary. And we can go easy on ourselves when warranted. This is not a once-and-done exercise. It’s a life- long process. And God’s promise is that God will always love, and God will always forgive.

Thank you, God, in your forgiveness; teach me your ways to forgive others. Amen.