AS FAR AS THE EAST IS FROM THE WEST, SO FAR HAS HE REMOVED OUR SINS FROM US (Psalm 103 12-13)
Do we believe He can really do this? Cast our sins as far as the East is from the West? That He has mercy for all His people? That He is aware of our human fragility and loves us anyway? That not even the worst sin can destroy His mercy? We all have to wrestle with these questions.
I believe the outcome of this wrestling will determine the direction of the rest of our lives, and whether or not we live in freedom.
THIS IS MY BLOOD OF THE COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE SHED ON BEHALF OF MANY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS (Matthew 26:28)
Do we believe that Jesus did this? That He shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins? That His sacrificial death on the cross brings us forgiveness?
I believe if we express sorrow, repent and turn to God, then we are forgiven…and free!
WHEN YOU STAND TO PRAY, FORGIVE, SO THAT YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER MAY IN TURN FORGIVE YOU YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS
Do we believe this? That Our Father in heaven will not forgive us unless we forgive others? I’m not taking any chances! I am not going to question the authority of Jesus here. I have learned, through life experience, to take Him at His word. I cannot withhold forgiveness and mercy; how could I, after what God has done for me?
Is forgiveness easy? No. Is it comfortable? No. Does it mean that everything moving forward will be great and there will be no painful memories? No.
I believe what it does mean, is through an act of our will, we decide to forgive from the heart, from the very place we were wounded, and to leave justice to God, the Father. Memories may still be painful, but they won’t own us, and we will refuse to dwell on them.
HE DELIVERED US FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS AND TRANSFERRED US TO THE KINGDOM OF HIS BELOVED SON, IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS (Colossians1 13-14)
Do we believe this? That we, as Christians, share the inheritance of the kingdom of light? If we believe this, than we can no longer live in darkness. To be true followers of Jesus, we must live in the light of His love and mercy.
Since 1994, I have been a “swim mom.” Friends would always ask me if I ever tired of spending so many hours at the pool, or at all those long swim meets! I don’t remember what my answer was in those days, but here’s the truth…besides the sheer enjoyment of watching my kids swim, and cheering them on, I savored the alone time to sit and think, dream, make plans, read, pray, and write in my journal. I wrote this song FORGIVEN AND FREE in 1997, while watching a swim meet at Fairland Aquatic Center in Beltsville MD. (The thought occurred to me, that I don’t know which is more difficult; to believe that God forgives us; to forgive someone else; or to forgive ourselves. What I do know is that the other two options are not possible without acknowledging that He forgives us and extends His mercy first, which then makes it possible for us to forgive others and ourselves.) This song, like many others, I put in a drawer and never looked at it again, because, well, I had a lot going on and was not that great at time management!! ..…until Dec. of 2016, when I was preparing a talk on forgiveness for our bible study group, and I remembered that somewhere in my home, there was a journal with an unfinished song about forgiveness in it! Very briefly, I mentioned to my daughter Daniela, who lives in Nashville and has been writing some pretty cool songs, that those lyrics needed a melody…. So imagine my delight, when on Christmas morning 2016, after all the gifts had been opened, my daughter Stephanie,(also a singer songwriter, having moved from Nashville to Maui) said that there was one more gift….and then she and Daniela, pulled out the guitar, and performed my song. I was blown away. Especially because my mom was with us that Christmas morning, (which would be her last) and she finally, after waiting MANY years, got to be the first to hear one of my songs come to life. It was a moment I am so grateful for and will always be a cherished memory. In January 2017, I was able to perform my song as part of my talk on forgiveness to our bible study! So here it is, my first recording of an original song, that I dedicate to my mother, Filomena Marino Capobianco, (1921-2017) who first taught me mercy, forgiveness, and love! Thanks Mom!