David said to the Lord, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, I pray you, take away the guilt of your servant." - 2 Samuel 24:10
Jesus says, "Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." - Luke 15:10
Two-year reading texts: Psalm 71:1-8; Proverbs 23; 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2
These verses lead in to another of my favorite lines in the Bible. Here's 2 Corinthians 5:17, in a mix of the NRSV and NIV translations that I think best gets at the meaning:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"Therefore" means that this newness is a result of God's action in Christ, who (5:15) "died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them." By the grace of God, whatever is "old" in us, small, corrupt, turned-in on itself, comes to an end and is gone and forgotten. Instead, there is the "new" of reconciliation, reconnection with God and the world, the righteousness of God coming to become a part of us.
It reminds me of another favorite saying, from Martin Luther's writings:
This life, therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed.This seems to me to be a good way to remember that, even in the many imperfections of our lives and our times, in Christ there is a new creation.