Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
1 Corinthians 1:10-18 (NRSV)
Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
The story of the cross is about the transforming power of the gentle Jesus. How the cleansing of our sins and our salvation is accomplished at the cross remains one of the mysteries of our faith. Someone asked an older minister this question, and he replied: When we bring our sins to the foot of the cross, they are absorbed in a loving heart. In this process our sins are removed from our lives never to be remembered again.
In human terms, I like to think that the cleansing of our sins is like a parent taking a child in a warm embrace, cleaning the dirt from a skinned knee, and soothing away the ache and tears. At the cross, our loving God embraces the confessing sinner, wipes away the tears, and cleanses and purifies the person. Yes, our sins are absorbed in the loving heart of God and we are forgiven.
Loving God, help me to experience the joy and comfort of your cleansing forgiveness. Amen.
Go with God.