Immediately upon reading today’s title you might wonder, who is going to be cast into the sea. Today the focus is not on someone being cast into the sea but on something being cast into the sea. That thing is sin. God casts our sin into the sea, even when we might be inclined to think He should be casting us, the sinner, into the sea. I invite you to read more.
The Season of Lent challenges us to turn away from our sins and to return to our Lord. If we do, God is ready to receive us back into His loving embrace.
Do we really grasp the depth of God’s forgiveness? Do we really believe He casts our sins away? Most of us, even if we believe that God forgives us, struggle to forgive ourselves. Rather than experiencing the peace of God’s mercy, all too often we live in fear of His punishment.
Today, I want to reflect on a few related Bible verses that drive home God’s desire to forgive and restore us in His grace. Two of the verses come from the Old Testament. One is from Micah and one is from Hosea. The third verse is from the Gospel of Luke.
In Micah 7:18-19 we read, “Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, And will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins.”
We find this in Hosea 11:9. “I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; For I am God and not a man, the Holy One present among you; I will not come in wrath.”
Finally in Luke 15:20, from the well-known story of the parable of the lost son, we read this, “So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.”
By reflecting on these three Bible passages we can see that God casts our sins into the sea, He does not come to us in anger and wrath but instead He runs to us to kiss us and embrace us for returning home.
The song Hosea written by John Michael Talbot contains these lyrics: “Come back to me with all your heart. Don’t let fear keep us apart.” It also has these lyrics, “Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new lives.”
My friends, the Lord is patiently waiting for our return. As we draw ever closer to Easter, let’s use this time to be like the Prodigal son, where we turn away from our sinful living and return home to our Heavenly Father. Pride and fear of punishment should never keep us from acknowledging our mistakes and seeking forgiveness.
God will in deed cast our sins into the sea if we simply tell Him we are sorry. He is ready to throw a banquet upon our return. Let’s not delay. And finally, knowing that God forgives us, let’s ask Him to grant us the grace to learn to forgive ourselves too.
Please take a few minutes to enjoy this video.
Heavenly Father, I give you thanks for the gift of your mercy and forgiveness. I thank you and praise you for the gift of your Son, Jesus. Grant me the strength to turn away from my sin so that I may return home to your loving embrace, amen.
I am writing today’s message from my hotel room. My wife and I are on a 13 day ministry road trip. We will be visiting St. Peter and Paul Parish in Philipsburg, PA and St. Peter Parish in Loudonville, OH to lead them in their Lenten Mission. Please keep the people of these two churches in your prayers. Thank you!