Quote: “To reach something good it is very useful to have gone astray, and thus acquire experience.” Saint Teresa of Avila
Meditation: This ritual where a sheep carries away the sins of the Israel people is an ancient way of allowing the people to start anew and to have a visible and tangible experience of their transgressions being wiped or carried away. In the Old Testament a sheep had to be slaughtered, blood had to be shed so that God how Israel understood God would be satisfied and would forgive their sins. This ancient ritual was helpful for the early Christians to understand the bloodshed at the end of the life of Jesus when they were struggling with questions like: “What happened at the Cross?” “Why did it happen?” “How could God allow for Jesus to be killed like this?” Also the words of the prophet Isaiah were helpful for meaning making: Our sins are being transferred onto God’s servant who dies for us, so that we don’t have to die.At the same time, the experience of sin, the experience of “going astray” cannot be avoided. It is part of our human existence. We learn about ourselves, we learn about the human condition, we learn about the world by getting lost sometimes. We do not seek sin, but we cannot avoid sin either.
Prayer: Thank you God for knowing us so well. Thank you for your patience when we go astray. Thank you that Jesus was an embodiment of your Grace and Forgiveness. Thank you that we can trust his message of your forgiveness even 2000 years later. Thank you for bread and wine as a symbol of your ongoing love and forgiveness. Amen
Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.