BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day 

John Denney 30 June 1999

 

The July fortnight is just around the corner.  Are you going on holiday?  Excited?  Is it Skeggie or Torremolinos?  At least you don’t need a passport for Skeggie.  But if you’re jetting off abroad at the weekend, I hope your passport’s ready.  ‘Cause if it isn’t, you might not be going after all!  They say there’s a million passport applications queuing up to be processed.  Apparently, according to a government minister, it’s not the Passport Office’s inefficiency or the Government forcing even new-born babies to have their own passport that’s the cause of the problem.  Oh no.  The problem is you.  If no one had applied for a passport, there wouldn’t be any backlog!  Simple as leaves on the line, or the wrong sort of snow.

 

Everyone tries to pass the buck, don’t they?  It started in the Garden of Eden.  God asked Adam “Why did you eat the forbidden fruit?”  And Adam said “It wasn’t my fault.  It was Eve that made me do it.”  And Eve said “It wasn’t my fault either.  It was the snake that told me to do it.”  And the snake … didn’t have a leg to stand on!

 

Be that as it may … sometimes there’s no one we can pass the buck to.  We know, deep down inside, it was our fault.  If we hadn’t done that, then …  If we hadn’t said that, then …  If we hadn’t been there, then …  Christians call that pricking of our conscience by a special word.  That word is “sin”.  And sin is a nasty thing.  It gnaws away at us and makes us feel guilty.  It gives us feelings of inadequacy and makes us feel we’re less than God made us to be.  And there’s only one way for us to deal with sin, and that’s to ask for forgiveness.

 

We can ask the person we’ve wronged to forgive us.  And maybe they will, maybe they won’t.  But sometimes we don’t know who to ask forgiveness from.  Sometimes we don’t know how to ask them for forgiveness.  Sometimes we can’t ask for forgiveness because it was a long time ago and the person has since died.

 

That’s when we can turn to Jesus to forgive us, to take away our sin.  And all we have to do is ask.  And Jesus lets us pass the buck to him.  It’s as if He gives us a fresh, crisp, passport with an open visa to heaven.  And there’s no backlog problem there.

 

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