“Grandma, Jesus Died for Our Sins:” Lenten Thanks…

Sunset over the Camas Prairie at Greencreek Cemetery, Greencreek, Idaho (where both of Ron’s parents are buried)

     “I up, Gamma Susie!”

     Each Friday when I watched our granddaughter, that’s how she’d let me know she was ready to start the day.

     Emmi rubbed sleep from her groggy little eyes as I entered her bedroom. Sitting up in her toddler bed, she greeted me with this declaration:

“Gamma, Jesus died for our sins!”

     Easter was just around the corner, and I knew my granddaughter was learning about Easter in Sunday School and from her mom and dad.

     “Yes, Emmi, Jesus did die for our sins,” I agreed, and then asked, “And, what are sins?” By that time, my granddaughter had awakened fully, and in her matter of fact, recently-turned-three-years-old manner, articulated each word clearly,

When – I – make – a – poor – choice!

     All granny prejudice aside, I thought that may have been one of the best explanations of sin I’d ever been given.

     Our sweet granddaughter turned nine last Sunday. This birthday has been rather disappointing. No school. No friends’ roller-skating birthday party. Lots of changed plans. The Coronavirus Pandemic will surely be one of the defining events those in Emmi’s generation will never forget.

Most certainly, Emmi loves boating on the lake!

So sweet to our Shih Tzu, Merci.

     I don’t know about you, but every day I make poor choices. Daily—sometimes multiple times during the day—I sin.

     Sin is central to the doctrine of Christianity. The Apostle John said,

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9 ESV)

     A process that helps me recognize, confess and ask forgiveness for my sins is an Ignatian spirituality tool known as the EXAMEN. There are various versions, but the one I’ve been using is:

Prayer of Examen

  1. Give Thanks.
  2. Ask God to reveal your sins.
  3. Examine how you lived this day (thoughts, words, deeds).
  4. Ask forgiveness.
  5. Ask God for the grace to amend your ways.

     Ask these two key questions:

  • Where did I experience God’s love today?
  • How did God’s love impact the way I lived my life today?

Prayer:

God, who gives good gifts,
Thank you, God for the gift of being a grandmother.
Thank you for the insight you give to even a little child.
And above all,
Thank You, Jesus, for dying for our sins!

Amen

Sue Reeve

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