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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Dalziel

Decorating (21-08-2023)

Readings

I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25)


The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger for ever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.(Psalm 103:8-12)


This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practise the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:5-9)


Thought

I quite enjoy doing a bit of decorating. Over the past few years I have decorated most of the rooms in our house. My enjoyment begins even before I have begun, when I start to consider what colour paint to use and how many different colours I want to use in one room. I love it when you put that first brush of paint onto the walls and see the difference it is going to make. But the greatest satisfaction comes when it is all finished, when I’ve put all the furniture back where it should be and you can see the transformation that has taken place. Everything looks new and fresh, unmarked by stains or knocks.


A couple of weeks ago I decided it was finally time that I tackled the walls in our entrance hall. It’s not a big room, and we use it mostly for storing shoes and coats. I had wanted to repaint it ever since I moved in, almost eight years ago, as the walls were painted a dark green colour which made the area very dark. But the room had been very well decorated not long before I arrived, and I knew it was going to be fiddly to paint the rather awkwardly shaped room, and so I had put it off.


I decided to leave one wall dark green and paint the other three magnolia. I started painting with the magnolia but after the first couple of coats you could still see the dark green underneath. It took four coats of paint to cover over the dark green, but finally it was gone and the difference was quite incredible. What had been a dark and somewhat oppressive room is now lovely and bright and light and airy. However, what I did notice, particularly when I was painting in the difficult to reach areas, was the evidence of previous colours that the walls had been. Clearly the walls had been bright blue at some point in time and also quite a bright yellow. The memory of the previous colours was there to see if you just looked hard enough.


Whilst decorating I was reminded of a chorus that we used to sing when I was younger. ‘No more! No more! He remembers sins no more. They are pardoned forever, and He will never bring them up against me anymore. I’ll hear no more of the evil days of yore; I’m a pardoned offender and God will remember them no more’. As I painted my walls magnolia trying to cover up the colours that were underneath I marvelled at how amazing it is that when we turn to God in repentance of our sins, He forgives us for what we have done wrong and promises that He will not remember them. It is so much more than a fresh coat of paint that we are given, as Paul says in his second letter to the Corinthians ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.’


How wonderful is it that we can be forgiven and that God will not remember our sin or hold it against us anymore.


Prayer

Father God, we come to you, sorry for the things we have done wrong. Please forgive us.

Amen





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