We all need second chances. Sometimes we need a complete restart on our lives, when something has gone terribly wrong or when we’ve made a major mistake. How many of us have committed a major error at work, so big that we needed to face the boss and pray for another chance to prove ourselves? We know that every relationship needs second chances if it is to survive. All of us mess up and need to regroup and move forward. As we talk these weeks about the pressures to be perfect we know how high the bar can be in our world. We know the pressures to perform, to look good, to do our best all the time. Yet such an image is impossible to maintain. Frankly, it wears us out. It can leave behaving and living as someone other than ourselves. Some of us also have a streak of perfectionism in us. We have high standards that serve us well at work, or keep the house running smoothly, but sometimes that comes at a cost to others around us. It can be hard on us when we don’t measure up. It can very hard on others who work for us or love us when they experience our judgement that they haven’t done enough or what we think is right.
We need to remember that we worship a God who believes in second chances. We follow a Christ who offered a new start in life to countless people, those who were notorious sinners and those who thought they had it all figured out and were living a spiritually successful life. God’s grace and forgiveness allows us to begin again, especially when we are feeling ashamed, anxious or guilty. Jesus came to reveal the grace of God that meets us, surprises us, amazes us and allows us to pick up the pieces of life and come back into a relationship with God. Sunday, we worship to meet the God who offers each of us another chance at life and faith.