Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday in Lent 1

Deuteronomy 9:23--10:5
v. 10:2 I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets, which you smashed, and you shall put them in the ark.

After Moses wins over God on behalf of the people, he is able to go up the mountain to be given the 10 Commandments again. This time God seem to feel confidence that they will be accepted because he directs Moses to build an ark for them to rest in. Israel has a second chance.

We worship the God of second chances. That is the simple good news in this story. In the baptismal covenant we are asked, "Will you persevere in resisting evil and whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?" The question assumes that the return will be accepted, and that indeed is God's promise to us. The return is always accepted. There is always a second chance.

What's more the turning itself need not be on our own strength. The answer to the question of the baptismal covenant (as it is with all the covenant's questions) is, "I will, with God's help." We need and have God's help to make the return itself. And God is there when we do. This is surely what we call grace.

I have had more second chances in my life than I can count. I know I am not alone in this reality. Let us rejoice today in the second chances we have been given by our good God.

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