Yesterday, I took my dogs to a local groomer. Foster only has been to one once in his life and Tilly - never. However, Foster's coat needed a very intense brushing while Tilly smelled like she rolled in something dead (probably because she did).
It was a big day and they were both exhausted after the experience.
Tilly is happy that I invite her to me with more hugs and pats on the head because she is no longer hideous. (I have no comparison for this).
Have you ever felt guilty about something you did? Or maybe you didn't do something you knew you should have done and that feeling nags at you. It's not a great feeling. Have you ever been around someone with whom you've had some awkward conversation or circumstance and the air between you is still not cleared?
When we do wrong things, a barrier is between us and God. A sin that may leave us feeling bad or smelly or filthy is an offense against the Lord. However, we can't get past our sin problem on our own. We all have this problem but there is a solution and that is Jesus, who was sent from Heaven as a tiny, helpless child, born to a disgraced couple, and admired by outcast shepherds. Jesus can look beyond our filth, sin, and social standing, all because of who He is. When we trust Jesus for taking the punishment for our voluntary and involuntary bad behavior, we are made clean again.
When we talk out the awkwardness of a situation with a friend or co-worker, the air is clear and it feels so much better. In the same way, our conversation with God, admitting what we did wrong, that we can do no better, but call on the grace of Jesus, then our faith makes us well, restoring our relationship with God the Father.
Even though we will continue to sin and make mistakes, our forgiveness is secure through Jesus. That's a great gift and one we can embrace with love - sort of like the Christ-child at Christmas and always.