Advent Devotional

Day 22

Advent Ornament on Tree
By Erik Segalini | December 22

Joy to the World

I learned theology from my son when he was 3 years old. He regularly caught me by surprise during discipline sessions. My wife and I teach that disobedience is sin, and that we all need Jesus for forgiveness. So each time Brenner wouldn’t come when we called, for example, or threw a temper tantrum, we taught him to ask for forgiveness, followed by prayer.

His little face streaming with tears, Brenner would ask me or his mommy to forgive him. I think he worried we might stop loving him. And then came the theology lesson.

“Yes,” I answered, “I forgive you!” And instantly, Brenner would laugh. Like his tears, his guilt was gone. A fresh start.

I know the Bible promises that Christ forgives my sins when I ask (1 John 1:9). But so often when I pray for forgiveness, I waltz with shame. I feel the need to grovel, to carry guilt like a carcass around my neck.

My 3-year-old knew better.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us,” says Psalm 103:12.

There’s pure joy in God’s grace. I learned that from my son.

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