Seeking to know Jesus and make Him known in Stevenage

A better story of forgiveness and redemption…

The Rector writes…

At the Diocesan conference last weekend, we were reminded of the power and sufficiency of the gospel of Jesus.  Not only does it meet our deepest spiritual needs for forgiveness, peace with God and eternal life, it also satisfies our deepest personal and human needs. So over the next few weeks we’re going to look at some of the ways Jesus’ gospel offers a far better story than the one offered by the world. I want to start with redemption from past mistakes.

This week we have seen Liam Neeson get pilloried in the media over his response to the rape of one of his friends many years ago. Next week the Oscars won’t have a main presenter after Kevin Hart was forced to step down after so-called homophobic tweets he made 9 years ago were highlighted.  And they aren’t the only cases.  Despite turning away from Christian morality, the western world has actually got more moralistic in recent years. Nothing whips up a social media frenzy than a chance to point their finger at someone else’s sin.

But sadly, our world offers no redemption, even when, like Neeson, people acknowledge the sinfulness of their actions.  Today there is no way back once you have transgressed. But we worship a God of grace who, when we truly repent, not only forgives us completely but promises not to bring our failings up again. They are gone; as far from us as the east is from the west. In the gospel the repentant prodigal is welcomed home; the denier Peter reinstated; the adulterer, murdering King David is pardoned.  Full redemption in Jesus: real hope for the sinner, new life after terrible mistakes.  That’s the better story of Jesus’ gospel.