Whenever I get to linger with my grandchildren, one of them will usually pop out with the question, “Hey, Mema! Do you remember when …” That usually means they’ve recalled an adventure we’ve been on together or a memory that still makes them laugh. Memories like those keep us connected.
Since 2013, I’ve spent every year collecting pictures and videos from our tribe so that I can create a cinematic “masterpiece” to share with our family each Christmas. After our belly-busting meal settles and the presents are opened, everyone nestles into a comfy spot to watch the year’s events unfold on the big screen.
Never do any of us fear that the video will cause us to relive our mistakes, temper tantrums, or bad attitudes. We confidently circle around the TV knowing that only good things have been chosen for display – the things that encourage more smiles, more laughs, and deeper connections.
In a way, that’s exactly what Jesus does for us. He splices together all the good things He sees in us and shows them to the Father on our behalf. “Even though you were once distant from Him, living in the shadows of your evil thoughts and actions, He reconnected you back to Himself. He released His supernatural peace to you through the sacrifice of His own body as the sin-payment on your behalf so that you would dwell in His presence. And now there is nothing between you and Father God, for He sees you as holy, flawless, and restored.” (Colossians 1:21-22, TPT, emphasis mine)
Jesus has done the hard work of editing out our sins and leaving them on the cutting room floor. His robe of righteousness covers the sins of those who have chosen to wrap their lives in it. “You have all become true children of God by faith in Jesus Christ! Faith immersed you into Christ, and now you are covered and clothed with His life.” (Galatians 3:26-27, TPT)
Our family videos often contain pictures of sunsets on beaches. (Some of my favorites!) As far as you can see from left to right, there is only water and sky. “Farther than from a sunrise to a sunset – that’s how far [God has] removed our guilt from us.” (Psalm 103:12, TPT)
My prayer is that my grandchildren know that they are loved exceedingly, abundantly more than they can imagine right now. But more than that, I want them to know that God IS Love, and He loves them even more than I do. As Love, God “is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. [He] joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. [He] is a safe place of shelter, for [He] never stops believing the best for others. [He] never takes failure as defeat, for [He] never gives up.” (1 Corinthians 13:5b-7, TPT)
May we all come eagerly and more thankfully into God’s presence knowing that the grace of Jesus has covered our mistakes, our temper tantrums, and our bad attitudes. Let us all remember the adventures He’s coordinated, and the many ways He’s made us smile.
Dear God, help us to accept the forgiveness you offer so that we can enjoy more smiles, more laughs, and better connections with those You’ve given us to love. Holy Spirit, help us to feel forgiven. It’s so very hard to forgive others when we can’t forgive ourselves. Jesus, show us YOUR video of our lives so we can see ourselves as You see us. Turn our lives into a cinematic masterpiece that points others to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!