He washed my sins away

Sister Act film poster.jpg
Sister Act film poster” by Source. Licensed under Wikipedia.

“Oh happy day! Oh happy day! Oh happy day!
When Jesus washed, oh when he washed, he washed my sins away”
I admit it: I just love Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act. When that energetic, loving nun turns around that run-down neighborhood, her songs are an inspiration. Bringing Aretha Franklin’s tune to a broader audience also helps spread the message of Easter. The lyrics really contain everything you need to know from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, from Jesus’ death on the cross to his glorious resurrection. Have you stopped humming yet?

The image of washing our sins away with Jesus’ blood is somewhat disturbing because it sounds so archaic but hey, that’s what you get for basing your faith on ancient texts like this one:
“If we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
(1 John 1:7 –Watchword for the Week of Sunday 12 April 2015)

That’s what Holy Week is all about: He washed my sins away!
And actually that extends well beyond that one special week, because I will sin over and over again and I will need cleansing over and over again. It is literally the original vicious cycle.

But not only that: The song as well as God’s purpose for us don’t stop there:
“He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, fight and pray! And living rejoicing every, everyday!”
Remember how Jesus asks the disciples to keep watch while he goes out to pray? – They keep falling asleep! They don’t fight their inner laziness and they fail to pray when it is so crucial. And rejoicing every day? – That sounds so hard because some days are just so hard to bear that nobody would want to rejoice. My hope would be that, when you have one of those days, when rejoicing sounds like too much to ask, that God may send you a sister Mary Clarence who may rock your world and teach you to sing “Oh happy day! Oh happy day! Oh happy day!”


1 John 5:1-21

Today’s Reading is 1 John 5:1-21.

Earlier I asked: What’s wrong in John’s congregation?
Today the author of John’s letter answers directly by wrapping up his letter with a handful of pleas:

Verse 14 “We have courage in God’s presence!”
Boy, are discouraged but may God help us to find courage!

Verse 15 “He hears us whenever we ask him!”
Nobody listens, let’s hope at least God does!

Verse 18 “We know that no children of God keep on sinning!”
That’s at least what we keep telling ourselves – wishful thinking works, right?

Verse 19 “We know that we belong to God!”
Even though it doesn’t feel like it most of the time!

Verse 20 “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding!”
This whole thing about love, light and sins surely is hard to understand.
Hopefully God gives me understanding I cannot develop myself!


1 John 4:1-21

Today’s Reading is 1 John 4:1-21.
Here you will find a very interesting equation:
God = Love
According to the nature of an equation one could also say:
Love = God
So wherever love is experienced, God is experienced.
What a beautiful thought.


1 John 3:1-24

Today’s Reading is 1 John 3:1-24.
How can one prove the existence of God?
Easy, say the authors of the Johannine works:
Verse 14 “We know that we have left death and come over into life; we know it because we love others.”
Because there is charity among us, there must be some ultimate source of love.


1 John 2:18-29

Today’s Reading is 1 John 2:18-29.

What’s wrong in John’s congregation? – Enter the Bible gives some background:

“The background of this sermon or letter is unclear. The author, whom tradition identifies as John, expresses concern about false teachers who are leading astray the Christian fellowship. Exactly who these people were or where they lived is unknown. John calls the false leaders “antichrists” (2:18). They seem to have left the churches of John and his community to set up their own (2:19), but their teachings and informal contacts were still causing trouble. What they taught is also difficult to know, but they seem to have denied that the Christ came in the flesh (4:2) and that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God (2:22; 5:1-5). They may also have taught that the Christ did not suffer or die (5:6). They appear to have believed that they knew God better than other, lesser believers (2:4). They may have denied any clear connection between faith and holiness or discipleship (2:4-6), perhaps because they saw life in the flesh as of no importance. These teachings led to faction, division, and hatred within the church, which John strongly opposes.”