"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, they sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee."
God is so cool. :) We are a backsliding bunch, and we keep doing things that we know are wrong... lose our tempers, judge other people... steal candy from children... :) Seriously, we make mistakes all the time, and have a tendency to give up on ourselves, and wonder if God is going to give up on us as well... but he never never will. He looks at our history of disobedience just as he looked at the history of the Israelites right before this scripture... and he says... okay, you screwed up. Let's start again. I'll wipe the slate clean... please, please come back... I love you. and he does. more than anyone can possibly love us on the earth, and knows us better than anyone else can know us. he knows, in fact, that underneath all the sin, all the disobedience, and all the resistance... there is a god or goddess in training. someone with the capacity to be like he is, to guide and love and give the way that He does. Just as he told the woman taken in adultery... neither do I condemn thee... go, and sin no more... he says the same thing to us. he knows that we aren't going to be perfect... that's why we have the sacrament, so that we can renew the remission of our sins every week... and he knows that he might have to wipe the slate clean more than once. *Every* time we repent, with sincerity, and with a desire to do better... he forgives us. That is the gift that Christ gave us, who suffered for all our mistakes, for all of our evil choices... so that we don't have to suffer for them. All we have to do is turn around, face the right direction... and no matter how bad it was, how deep the wounds, how complicated the extrication... he pulls us out of the pit that we have dug for ourselves, takes away the eternal consequences of our sin, and sets us back on level ground to try again. He is our Father... he wants us to come home.