New Mercies Every Spring . . . New Mercies Every Day!

by Rev. Donald Anthony

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Photo © Max Bukovski/shutterstock.com

My dad and I enjoyed the CB radio. In order for me to keep my CB privileges, I had the responsibility of taking care of the family lawn. My dad supplied the lawn mower, the gas, and the clippers (that was before the weed-eater). As our CB hobby interests grew, we graduated from a regular antenna on the house to a CB tower. The tower enabled us to have a better reception and output.

We enjoyed good reception and conversation around the world . . . until one day I accidently hit the tower and knocked it down. I stood there and watched it crash to the ground. It was a terrible experience. I felt doomed. I was embarrassed. I was fearful. I knew my dad was going to be upset.

I had to tell my dad what happened. That was a difficult moment. It is difficult to admit our mistakes and the fact that we are sinners. Read the following examples of confession:

Num. 5:5–7. How do we experience the full restitution for our sins?

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Psalm 51. What was David’s sin? How was the sin finally exposed?

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Whom did David admit that he had sinned against?

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What judgment did David deserve? (Review vv. 10–11.)

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David acknowledged that his sin was not only against a particular person, but also against God. Our sin is not only against the people that we have wronged but against the God who created us.

David asks for God to do a “new thing” in him? What is it that he requests?

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God recreates a new heart and a right spirit within us in the waters of Baptism. Martin Luther encouraged his readers to make the sign of the cross every morning as a reminder that God’s forgiveness is available and “brand new” for us each day.

Lam. 3:22–23. Why does the Lord offer His mercy to us?

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How great is the love of God for each of us?

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How do we experience that “great love”?

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How often does the writer of Lamentations indicate that we experience the forgiveness of God?

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I had to tell my dad that I had knocked the tower down. I deserved his wrath and punishment because of my careless actions. Fortunately, I was not punished. He absorbed his disappointment and offered me another chance. To this day, some 30 years later, the base of that tower still stands in my parents’ backyard. My dad has since died, but I still remember his giving me a second chance, and I am still thankful for the forgiveness that I experienced from him.

Today, more than 2,000 years later, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the cross; and the empty tomb still serve as a reminder of the forgiveness and new life we have in Jesus Christ. We are daily given a second chance. This spring, we are once again reminded that we are daily restored and renewed, so that we might not only experience new life in Christ but also reflect the new life we have in Him.

About the Author: Rev. Donald Anthony is chairman of the LCMS Board for Black Ministry Services and pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Concord, and Crown in Glory Lutheran Church, Salisbury, N.C.

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