This morning I had a parishioner drop by the office. She told me that the other day she was at the Mohegan Sun after work and was walking through there with a friend when she was stopped by security. They were very polite but after they ascertained who she was, she was escorted off the property because she was on the list of those permanently banned from the facility.
The truth is that this would not be a big problem for her normally. She doesn't spend much time at the actual casino. The problem is that she works at Krispy Kream Donuts at the Gas Station on the campus of the Casino. Being barred from the Casino includes stepping foot on any part of their property. This means she cannot go back to work as thing stand.
This young lady came in today to ask me to vouch for her. She asked me to call the security office and tell them that she was a changed person from the one who got in trouble there years ago. She was living a new life and was no longer the belligerent, trouble maker of the past.
I did as she asked and after she left I began to think about the truth of her situation and the reality for all of us as people of faith. You see, we are all in the same predicament as my friend. We have been banned from heaven because of our sins of the past. Like Adam and Eve, we were banished from Eden and sent out into the darkness. We cannot go back unless someone speaks for us.
The good news is that Jesus stepped forward and spoke on our behalf. He pleaded our case before the judge and shared how we were changed, born again, renewed from within by our relationship with him. He stood up and said we were a new creation and that the old had passed away. He pleaded with the authority that we should be reinstated. And because he was willing to give his all, the lifetime ban was lifted and we were invited back again.
Praise God for our advocate, the lover of our souls, Jesus Christ. He is the one who gave us a second chance and a new life. Now we can walk in his light forever. Amen.