(The Lord said) "For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:12
You've heard that some of our nation's college students are upset with the recent election.
The question for school administrators has been "How do we handle the upset?" Some schools have cancelled classes; others have postponed tests and exams. More than one has brought in care dogs and counselors.
Teresa Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, decided to share some wisdom with her students. In doing so she declined to use her own words, but instead quoted the University's founder, President Thomas Jefferson.
Many years ago, Jefferson wrote to a friend: "University of Virginia students 'are not of ordinary significance only: they are exactly the persons who are to succeed to the government of our country, and to rule its future enmities, its friendships and fortune ....'" President Sullivan encouraged her students to "embrace that responsibility."
The reaction was not exactly what President Sullivan had hoped for.
In short order, a staff-written letter, with 469 staff and student signatures, was sitting on the President's desk. The letter said that her quotation from Jefferson, an owner of slaves, was probably not the right way to go if she desired to bring about "unity, equality and civility."
After I read that response, there were two thoughts that occurred to me:
1. I'm thankful the Lord is not one of those professors or students at the University of Virginia.
2. I'm thankful my life is not being examined by those same people.
The truth is, if anybody looks at our lives closely, they will readily see we are sinners. We have all failed the Lord, and our brothers, on numerous occasions. As Psalm 130:3 says, "If You, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?"
The answer is -- like Jefferson -- none of us would be able to take that kind of scrutiny.
Thankfully, our Lord is not a college professor or a student. He is the Lord who, for our sins, has a right to be displeased. Indeed, the Lord could send every disobedient sinner directly to hell if that was His wish.
But that is not the Lord's wish. Psalm 130:4a continues: "But with You there is forgiveness."
Because of what Jesus has done, because of His life, His suffering, death and wonderful resurrection from the dead, there is forgiveness for all who are brought to faith by the Holy Spirit's power. Washed in the blood of the Lamb, we no longer have to fear our past sins will be brought up to condemn us. On the contrary, we are now able to rely on the Lord who has promised, "I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we are so quick to judge and condemn others. Grant that we may forgive as we have been forgiven. Grant that we may do so because we are motivated by the love of the Savior who has rescued us. In His Name we pray. Amen.
P.S. - Interested in missions in foreign lands? Check out the link that follows. I did and was impressed: www.lhm.org/onlinemissiontrips.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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