In Psalm 103, the psalmist tells himself (his soul) to bless God. After he does so a second time he begins to give reasons why his soul should bless God. The very first reason? Because God forgives.
You don't have to believe that God is vengeful and retributive and angry to recognize you need God's forgiveness. All you have to do is look at your life. You don't do everything you should do. You do some things you shouldn't do. That doesn't make you bad; it makes you human.
And, you need only look at your human relationships to realize why forgiveness is necessary in any relationship, including with God. Just as the people in your life who deserve your apologies and attempts at doing better aren't angry and vengeful, neither is God. When we're with people and God, we're bound to offend against them. That, too, is a sign of our humanity.
Mainline churches have a tendency to skate around sin and our need for forgiveness. We're afraid, I suppose, that it's old-fashioned language and harmful to people's self-esteem. "Sin" may sound strong to some, but it's simply a recognition that we are broken beings and live as such. We don't get it all right and that harms our relationships with others (including God).
We need to talk more about this because recognizing our sinfulness and the gift of forgiveness in our lives are critical to our forgiving other people. Jesus spoke to this: Matthew 18:21-35.
Join us Sunday as we bless the Lord for his forgiveness and reflect on what forgiven people are called to do.