|Saltburn by the Sea December 2015|
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus heals the paralytic man, physically with the words “Get up!...”, and spiritually with the words “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2)
It is those latter words of Jesus that I took into meditation last night*.
If someone was to say to us that “having a child is a huge commitment”, most of us (parents or not) would readily accept the principle. But when the commitment has been a personal one for us, when we have given love, time, money, ingenuity and bounced back from our failures to try again – then we have experienced all and more than the principle implies. We have known the difference between theory and practice.
“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven”….
As I placed myself before God in meditation, those words were no longer merely theology. They became personal. I was moved to ask: “what..even the time that I….?”
And I heard again….”Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven”
“And the times that I have…?
“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven”. I began to sense a rhythm. I can only describe it as like the motion of the waves crashing on a shore. With each ebb, each movement of repentance, forgiveness and grace flowed inexorably back. Cancelling, cleansing, crossing out.
The intellectual knowledge of God was surpassed by something else, an experience of the grace of God. Theory into practice. Universal into personal.
“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls, all your waves and breakers have swept over me” (Psalm 42:7)
*See Richard Foster’s quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer on page 33 of ‘Celebration of Discipline’