New Year’s Meditation

“Forgetting what lies behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13

As life moves on we accumulate memories. Some memories remain with us like cherished friends, giving comfort, encouragement, and filling the present with an ongoing sense of fulfillment.

Others may haunt us and tinge our lives with sadness, melancholy and guilt. Of these some are rooted in troublesome or tragic events that were beyond our control. A natural disaster struck. The stock market plunged and assets were wiped out. A medical condition fundamentally altered the course of life. Events like these may leave us reeling in an effort to regain our balance, but we feel no remorse. We did not cause them. 

Some memories are of wrongs done to you by others. Someone you once loved rejected you for another. A business associate cheated you. Someone close to you violated a confidence.  Rising above the resulting bitterness or anger may be difficult but the fault, in the end, is not yours. 

But there are still other memories. These are the memories of the wrongs you have done. They demand you deal with them. They are on your hands.

We have all left a debris field of wrongs in the wake of our lives.  And try as we might, we will never clear the wreckage of our past. These deeds follow us and accuse us. What will we do?

Saint Paul urges us to forget it all. But, you may object, surely this is too simplistic. Memories are not that easy to put away. This is true. But Paul dares to invite us to forget, because those accusing memories now belong to Christ Jesus. He paid for them on His Cross.

Therefore, as you enter the new year, know this: Giving your sins to Christ Jesus will not remove the scars. But the open wounds of guilt and remorse will be closed and healed. For when Christ Jesus took your sins upon Himself, He stripped them of all the accusation they contained. It is as if those things of which you are ashamed never happened. You are free-free to press on with confidence toward the glorious future God has prepared for His people!

May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Pastor Mark Anderson

Published by Pastor Mark Anderson

Lutheran pastor, husband, dad, archaeology nut, serious blues guitarist and aspiring luthier.

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