As we start a new year, we often talk about the baptism of Christ. This is an interestingly controversial discussion topic because many ask, why did Jesus need to be baptized? As the son of God, wasn’t he perfect anyways?

But we know full well what he did after his baptism. He showed us that it is possible for a human being to live fully into a life of love with God.

Jesus was willing to open a door to all people into this life. It did not matter who they were or where life had taken them. If they were willing to take responsibility for their mistakes, and work to be the best person they could be, Jesus offered them the forgiveness of God.

I think this is important, because today we have a lot of folks who are not seeking forgiveness for the wrong they have done, and we also live in a society where we do not give people who are truly sorry the opportunity to find forgiveness.

We can look at Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein as examples of people who did something wrong but did not, and do not wish to, accept responsibility for that wrongdoing, and we can look to our prison systems as institutions that do not give the opportunity for people to turn their lives around and find forgiveness.

As we go into 2020 we should be asking, what does it take to start fresh? Can we really make a better world if we don’t find a better way to understand the need to seek and give forgiveness in our lives?

— Rev. Devon Lee Thomas

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