“Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you do not take part in her sins, and so that you do not share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. … therefore her plagues will come in a single day – pestilence and mourning and famine – and she will be burned with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.’ … ‘The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your dainties and your splendor are lost to you, never to be found again!’ … ‘For in one hour she has been laid waste.’ Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints and apostles and prophets! For God has given judgement for you against her. Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘With such violence Babylon the great city will be thrown down, and will be found no more; … and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more;’” Revelation 18:4-5,8,14,19d-21,23
God’s prevenient grace beckons us out of sin to return fully to Him. Those situations we find ourselves in that we never anticipated. That one indiscretion that become another and another and even after it was over sometimes still dominates our thoughts, our hearts and minds. “Come out, come away, return to me,” God cries to us. “Repent and turn away, completely; I will forgive and forget. But if not, you will be judged just as the one who enticed you to sin is judged. Your sin separated you from me, and now I will make that separation permanent. No more light to overcome the darkness, no more bridegroom to guide you.” Silence. O children of God the time is now – return fully God, respond to God’s call – repent, the Kingdom of God is here. The Calendar tells us a new year approaches, socially we will be asked to make resolutions, to resolve to do something better, to make ourselves better. God tells us the New Year/ New Life begins with Christ! Now is the time to repent, to confess, to ask forgiveness, to be made new, newer, newest by God’s salvific grace. We need a Savior, resolve to repent, resolve to step into the arms of God who loves you, turn away from that situation, that relationship, that addiction, that indiscretion that took you farther than you ever wanted, farther than you ever fathomed that robbed you of life abundant. Turn back to God, stay in the light, hear the voice of the bridegroom.