Devotion: Forgiveness

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Bible Reading: Romans 6:3-5, 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
Items needed: bowl, water, sliced onion, salt

There are times when a smell may fill an entire house: a meal being prepared, a fresh rain or food going bad. The smell is so powerful that we are not able to smell anything else. Applying this thought to sin, there are times we may become so involved in sin that we are not able to think clearly. We start to listen to things which are foolishness, taking them as wisdom. For example, there are times we think hitting our siblings is wise, or times we think getting involved with drugs or alcohol is wise when all other times we would consider it foolishness. The smell of sin can take over, and we become consumed with it.

Directions:

1. Give each person a piece of a cut onion.

2. Tell students to rub the onion on their hands if they have done a sin in the last week. Mention particular sins, and have them rub the onion on their hands if they have done them. (Cursed, lied, cheated, bullied, disrespected, etc.) Talk about how sin takes over our life as the smell of the onion does. Some of us may have cried because of the sins done to us or the sins we committed.

3. Have each person drop their onion in the garbage. Sprinkle salt on their hands, and have them rub salt where the onion was, and then rinse with water.

4. When they dry their hands, the stink of the onion is gone.

The devil is very good at taking our sin and using it as the smoke in front of the mirror and soon our true image is gone. No matter how foolish our actions or how low we feel, we are forgiven because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. In our baptism we receive faith and forgiveness as the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts. Romans 6:3-5 says, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk innewness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” We further get to hear the words of forgiveness as the Pastor speaks the words of absolution in worship.

Each day we get to remember our baptism as we drown the Old Adam in us. We are forgiven and get to start each day being made clean with the stink of sin washed away. We are transformed and made new to carry the pleasing aroma of Christ. We are reminded in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.” Remember that people may take many things away from you in life, but they will never be able to take away the free gift of forgiveness. There is no sin too big that it cannot be forgiven.