Sunday, February 23, 2014

Who's got their hand in the candy?

Jesus said to his followers, “Things will surely happen that will make people sin. But it will be very bad for anyone who makes this happen. It will be very bad for anyone who makes one of these little children sin. It would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their neck and be drowned in the sea. So be careful!

“If your brother or sister in God’s family does something wrong, warn them. If they are sorry for what they did, forgive them. Even if they do something wrong to you seven times in one day, but they say they are sorry each time, you should forgive them.”
 Luke 17:1-4 Easy-to-Read Version

I tried something different today. I randomly picked a book of the Bible (Luke) and a number (17). I plugged that into my Bible Gateway website and this is what I got. I looked at it and asked myself, “What can I say about this?” A lot, I thought, but then God said, “Oh, no missy, you tell this story.”

I was on my way to Confirmation class after school one wintery Wednesday. My two friends and I stopped at Hanke’s grocery store to pick up some snacks. Each of them reached into the Brach’s candy display and slid their candy-filled hand silently into their jacket pocket. I did likewise.

I was so smooth that when we got outside, one of them offered me a butterscotch candy. “I got my own,” I answered, slightly offended that they thought I was too much of a baby to shoplift for myself. Then the three of us walked to church one block away and nothing more was ever said about it.

Obviously the incident weighed heavy on my heart for me to remember it so clearly over thirty years later. Did these two girls cause me to sin? Not directly, but, though I don’t blame them at all, I know I wouldn’t have stuck my hand into the caramels if I hadn’t seen them do it. I’ve forgiven them, but I never went back to Hanke’s to repay what I took. The thought of going in there and apologizing to the manager makes me break out in a sweat even now. And the store has long since closed anyway.

I have asked for forgiveness from God and I know that He has granted it. I also know that I am not cut out for a life of crime.

Dear Lord, Heavenly Father, thank you for offering us forgiveness from all of our sins. Thank You for making it possible by sending Your Son to die for us. Amen 

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