For Christmas last year, our six-year-old desperately wanted a Star Wars play watch. We bought it and hid it in our bedroom. Samuel found it, opened it and took it to school. I found the empty package under his bed. When I picked him up at school, I saw the watch in his backpack. Without a word, I took the watch back and waited. It did not take Samuel long to realize it was missing. He panicked, but his guilt in stealing the watch meant he had to stay silent. Guilt consumed him. By the next morning, he was tearfully ready to admit his crime.
Guilt has a way of consuming us. Psalm 32 is a testimony of David’s battle with guilt. “While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.” Lent is a season of reflection and repentance. It is a perfect time to let go of the guilt and enter into the utter joy of forgiveness.
Samuel received his watch a second time on Christmas morning. He wears it every day with pride and joy. I hope he also sees it as a reminder that he has been forgiven and that he has our love forever.
Dear Lord, give us the courage to face our guilt and confess our sins, so that you who are faithful and just can forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Amen. — VB