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Communion Meditations (2006)

Remorse and Reconciliation

Originally delivered October 22

Do you remember being thirteen years old?  It’s a memory most of us would rather forget.  It is a time of awkwardness physically—and socially.  Learning to dance at the age of thirteen will hurt a lot of feet.  Learning to deal with the opposite sex can lead to some lifelong scars.

Unfortunately, doing things you later regret is something which just does not seem to leave the human species.  With as much fondness as you can muster, think back:

· Was there ever a moment when you said something completely irreversible?  Something so stupid, so insulting, so prickly that even today you cannot imagine how those words fell out of your mouth.  Then you spent years in remorse, thinking, “If only I hadn’t said that.”

· Other times it’s what you didn’t say that makes the difference.  You had the chance to speak the tender words of forgiveness.  Your opponent gave in, and you stood there with nothing to say—giving the strong impression that you didn’t care about another person in the world.

Both have the same characteristic:  I am unable to change things now.  I cannot go back to that time and place; the person I offended may be dead, or perhaps there is simply no way to fix what was broken.  Unscrambling an egg is difficult.

So you pay the price of remorse.  You go through life with the sadness of having wronged someone you love, and the frustration of not being able to do anything about it.  It is a heavy price for a careless word.

Know, then, that Christ your Lord can deal with this.  He alone can heal the hurts of long ago.  He can lift the pain you caused, if you will but ask.  He alone can reconcile the irreconcilable, for only He enters the argument having forgiven both of you.  Even those who are dead are within His care.

This is His reconciliation, and it came at an awful price—the very life of the One who knew no sin.  Reconciliation is always expensive—to the reconciler.

So, as you take this Communion, I say to you “Rejoice!”  Your Lord has paid the price of your remorse;  accept His reconciliation as you accept His body and blood.  As you do, Remember.  He is the One who died for you; let Him break the chains of remorse.

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