"After trying again and again to communicate with us, God finally sent Jesus to interact with us face to face. In effect, God was saying, “Know me through my son. Trust me through my son. Be with me through my son.” In John’s gospel, Jesus himself tells us,
“’Whoever has seen me has seen the father. . . . The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works’” (Jn 14:9,10).
Jesus teaches us how to deal with the consequences of our humanity. Having sinned, we must
* recognize the sin,
* take responsibility for it,
* ask forgiveness,
* and believe that we have been forgiven.
We see this returning to Eden, this coming home most clearly in the parable of the prodigal son in Luke’s Gospel (Lk 15:11-24). The son sins, realizes that he has sinned, and repents. He doesn’t even have to ask for forgiveness; the father forgives him as soon as he approaches the father with repentance. The father rejoices at the return – both physical and spiritual – of his son, and says,
“’Let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’” (Lk 15:24).
This is how God feels about us! Of course, it is better not to sin; but if we do, we don’t have to stay separated from God and each other; we don’t have to continue to live in doubt and fear – we don’t have to stay out of Eden. Through Jesus, God has shown us that we can come home, we can return to Eden. And when we do, God is there, like the father of the prodigal son, waiting to welcome us, rejoice, and celebrate: “Let us eat and celebrate; for this child of mine was dead and is alive again; she was lost and is found!” Praise be to God! Amen."
FULL SERMON HERE