Rev. Jacob Ehrhard
I only remember one sermon from my youth. Not that my pastors were bad preachers—they were pretty good, actually—but there's only one I really remember. It was based on Psalm 25:7. "Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!" Remember not the sins of my youth.
It's something you can say at any phase of life. When you're a teenager you can look back at all the dumb stuff you did as a kid. As a young adult you can look back at your teenage years and be ashamed of the things you were capable of. When you start progressing through middle age you see a whole pile of increasingly sophisticated sins building up. Remember not the sins of my youth! Then you get to the point when the end of your life is closer than its beginning. You look back over the incredibly foolish things you did in your 40s and 50s and 60s and 70s. Remember not the sins of my youth.
Many things change as you get older. One thing that doesn't change is your capacity for sin—sin in ways you'd never expect yourself to be capable of. Chances are good that your worst sin may still lie ahead of you. But the prayer of Psalm 25 remains constant. Remember not the sins of my youth!
If there's one thing you should know about the church it's that in every phase of your life you will fail—sometimes miserably. But in every phase of life, the church is your place where those sins and failures a remembered no longer. The church is the destination for sinners. There is where you will find the steadfast love of the Lord that remembers only the obedience of Jesus. There God's goodness is freely distributed, regardless of age. And when it comes to your worst sin and your biggest failure, they will soon become sins of your youth. Remember not the sins of my youth!
Pastor Jacob Ehrhard serves as pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Haven, MO.
Created: May 10th, 2016