I was counseling an engaged couple; we were having our last session before the big day – the wedding day. It is during this last session that I usually go over the actual wedding service with the couple. Now the woman in this particular relationship had specifically asked me to use the old Methodist wedding ritual that I had used at a friend of hers wedding. As I am going over the service with the couple, the woman stops me and says, “I am uncomfortable with some of that language.” I asked her what language she was referring to and she replied, “All the God language, and holy marriage, and all that.” I was a little dumbfounded and told her this was the service she had requested. She said she didn’t remember all that God and holy language in the one she had observed. I assured her it was and besides that I am a Christian pastor and so naturally I’m going to use God language in worship services, even weddings. I told her that if she didn’t like that language, she should have gone to a judge or some other civil servant.
About that time the phone rang. I went ahead and answered it – just for a break. I could hear the couple talking. After I hung up, I told her that I thought her god was too small. You see, she had been married once before and had been divorced for 7 years. She carried around a huge load of guilt and shame; she didn’t think God could bless another marriage. She considered divorce a sin. I said, “So what if it is? What was the point of Jesus dying on the cross if not for the forgiveness of sin and the resurrection to new life? Even a new marriage?”
She wasn’t sure about all of that. I told both of them that they shouldn’t get married (based on our previous discussions as well as the one we were having at the time), and if they did get married, they needed to get into intensive therapy pretty quickly. They called the next day and said they no longer needed my services – I thought I had already made it clear that I wasn’t offering my services; oh well, the end result I didn’t officiate over this certain fiasco.
Is your God too small? We say that Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins, but how many of us really believe that? Many of us believe that there are some sins just too big to forgive. Some people carry these unforgivable sins around with them the rest of their lives – as well as the guilt and shame that go with them. If Jesus didn’t die to forgive all sin, then what was the point?
One of my most powerful experiences of the grace of God was a time when I did commit what some would call a really big sin. I’m not sure God ranks sin, but we do; and boy did I commit a doozie. But I went and knelt at Jesus’ feet, confessed, repented, cried. God poured out his grace upon me. I felt forgiven. I felt cleansed. I felt whole. While I remember my sin, I don’t carry it around with me letting it weigh me down and disabling me from getting on with life. I believed Jesus died for that sin just as he did for all other sin. I am so glad that God’s grace is great than all our sin! I hope you are too. Otherwise, your God may be too small.