I was at church this morning – sitting in my usual spot up in the balcony, when Pastor Dan started to talk about Holy Communion – and about forgiveness.

I’d heard it before – but something clicked this morning, and to explain it, I have to tell a little story…

Where I work, there’s this concept of “No worries” – almost like the “Hakuna matata” bit you hear in “Lion King”.  Examples of how you might find it used would be like this:

You, talking to boss, needing to take the day off on short notice, “Hey – um – I’m sorry, but I need to take my outer Mongolian wombat to the vet.”

“Oh, no worries!”

Hmm…

You, after something had muffed up… “… so that’s where we stand.  It’s broken, and this is what it’ll take to fix it.”

“Okay – no worries – we’ll fix it and get it done.”

You, after you muffed something up. “Hey – I – um – I muffed this up – and we’ll have lost some information…”  and as you’re standing there ready to flog yourself for muffing something up, your boss says, “No worries, let’s figure out what it takes to make sure it doesn’t happen again and move on.”

Something about this is feeling familiar, but I can’t put my finger on it.

I’d been in work environments where the attitude is quite a bit different – where you had to watch your back every minute, where the only time you’d feel someone’s hand patting you on the back was when there was a knife in it.  It wasn’t a pleasant situation in the least.

In fact, it took me about 4 months of working where I work now to understand that someone patting you on the back could literally be doing just that… Patting you on the back…

And after awhile – I realized that this whole concept of “No worries” was just that… If you heard those words from someone, they truly meant “No (zero, zilch, nada) worries.”

The problem would be dealt with – and then the issue, the ‘transgression’ if you will, forgotten.

* Poof! *

Gone.

No.

Worries.

Period.

This is still sounding familiar, but I still can’t put my finger on it.

Waitaminute!

Hmm…

The problem dealt with… the transgression… forgotten…

Haven’t I heard words like that before?

Wait – wait… seems this was written about a LONG time ago, in a country far, far away, by a guy who used to chase sheep around the countryside…

Yeah… Book of Psalms – chapter 103…

 12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

 “But wait.” (in the immortal words of Monty Python) “there’s more…”

Paul’s letter to the Hebrews… chapter 10 (he wrote long letters) verse 17 – plus or minus a couple…

Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more…
And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

Hmm… There’s still something out there that I’m missing…

<shuffle shuffle>  – yeah, here it is…

…so this whole “no worries” thing – the deal is, I let my boss know either I muffed something up – or it got muffed up, or it muffed itself up (computers are very creative when it comes muffing things up).  And he says, “No worries, let’s figure out what it takes to make sure it doesn’t happen again – and then move on.

Wait – so I don’t have to keep beating myself over the head with my own failure?

…and this whole forgiveness thing…

So the deal is, I let God know either I muffed something up, or it got muffed up, or it muffed itself up (people are very creative when it comes to muffing things up).  And God, even when we muff it up ourselves,  goes, “No worries, let’s figure out what it takes to make sure it doesn’t happen again and move on.”  In fact, in that story those quotes are from – you can find the whole story here.  Jesus Himself says to a gal who was caught “in the act” of a pretty serious sin, “No worries, let’s figure out what it takes to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and move on.”  But think about it – the people accusing her said she was caught “in the very act.”  Um… you don’t do *that* kind of sin all by yourself, so it’s clear that she “had help” muffing up – but they were going to make her pay the price, and the guy gets away scot free.  But Jesus saw right through that, all the way to the bit about “It kind of makes sense that those accusing her may have had a little experience with that particular sin” –  because of what happened next.

What happened next?

He wrote in the dirt, it’s never clearly stated what He actually wrote, but her accusers left, starting from the oldest to the youngest after He started writing.  Yathink maybe He was writing the names of the people who’d already done *this* particular sin?

So they left – and there’s no one left to accuse her.

And Jesus quite literally saved her life, because they were looking to stone her – and kill her.  And he said, “No worries… Go – try to do better.”

And He forgave her.

Wow.

No worries.

Can you imagine how hard it would have been to accept forgiveness at that level?  But that’s what He told her to do.

And hard as it is sometimes, I’m supposed to accept this whole forgiveness thing, whether it’s from my boss at work, or from God.

And I’m supposed to do my best to learn from the mistake, and move on…

Because my boss isn’t accusing me of anything…

And God isn’t accusing me of anything…

Hmmm…

No worries.

Cool.

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