God opens the door to welcome us, offering mercy for our wrongs and healing for our wounds.

We can be restored: made whole and made well!

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I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me. I don’t ignore the grace of God, because if we become righteous through the Law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Galatians 2:20-21

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It's important for any society to have laws. Laws set the basic expectations for how we live together; laws provide protections and promote peace.

For the people of God, laws were in place to set expectations for how they would live together. They would make certain sacrifices, worship at certain times, and in certain ways. Their families would follow certain guidelines, and their meals would avoid certain foods. Their laws provided protections and promoted peace. Their society, like ours, also had consequences for people who broke or ignored those laws.

When we follow the law, we share in the protections and peace that are important to our society. But when we only act "good" because the law demands it, we may be forgetting our true source of protection, our true source of peace: God's grace.

Jesus did not live and die to affirm good behavior under the laws of any one time or place. He lived and died to restore us – to restore the people of every time and every place – to God.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

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God, I am thankful for the wise laws that shape our society and life together. Your love is the source of that life; help me not only to follow the law, but to live by your grace. Amen.

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God's grace overflows: you are forgiven!

Now open the door in a wide welcome, and offer the same mercy and healing you have received.

The world is waiting to be restored.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is an ordained Baptist minister, military spouse, and mom of two boys. Her family moves every few years, and she is learning to love the many facets of God’s call within the changes and challenges of military life. She knits, sews, reads, paints a bit, preaches occasionally, and writes blog posts and devotionals.

Wondrous Love: Music of Lent - I Am Thine, O Lord

Mark Hayes

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