I’ve been blogging about my 100 favorite books of all time for the last four months or so. My favorite books cover a variety of genres – history, biography, fantasy, fiction, theology and spirituality. Yesterday I got to number seven! I hope to get finished in the next two weeks. But here’s a spoiler alert – one of the books in the top six is Philip Yancey’s What’s So Amazing About Grace. I first read this in college and it cleared up so much about who God is, what forgiveness and grace are and what this all means.
In the years since, I’ve developed a love of learning and thinking. I enjoy studying theology and tackling deep subjects. At times, it is tempting to think I’ve moved beyond the simple lessons of Sunday school – “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” It is tempting to think that God’s forgiveness and grace are merely the beginning and now we can move on to deeper, bigger subjects.
Yet, nothing is deeper or bigger than God’s grace and forgiveness.
The truth that none of us can save or fix or heal ourselves, but that God has come to us out of pure love is infinitely deep. We’ll never understand what it truly means for God to love us – not because we deserve it or earned it – but simply because that’s who God is and what God does. God forgives us and extends us grace.
Read Psalm 32
This is what I thought of when I read Psalm 32. Blessed is the one who is forgiven, the Psalmist begins. But it quickly turns sort of dark: “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.” This silence is a failure to confess sins. God is always willing to forgive, but it is up to us to ask for it. Yet God also does not demand penance or anything before forgiving, God forgives immediately:
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
May we never think we can move past or find anything deeper, more profound or more beautiful than this.