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McCoy: Picking and choosing
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"What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you, for you answer our prayers. All of us must come to you. Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts. What festivities await us inside your holy Temple. You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas."
Psalm 65:1-5 (New Living Translation)

When I was little, my mom would drop us off at the local dime store with our allowance. Back then, if we really worked hard during the week, on Saturdays, each of us children received a dollar for our hard work. Now, in those days, a dollar was worth working for, and we would do our chores willingly, because we knew that, come Saturday, we would be in the dime store in town, and we would be able to buy anything we wanted... that cost less than a dollar.

Well, the time would come, we would go to town, and as promised, my mom would drop us off at the dime store for a little while. We would walk around the aisles, and we would carry on conversations with the owners who were always ready to chat with us. My sister went straight to the front counter where they served hot dogs. She loved hot dogs, and a dollar was enough to buy 2 hot dogs and a coke, and maybe even a pack of gum. My brother would head straight to the die-cast car section to see the latest models and to choose one that was right for him. I would walk around looking... and looking... and looking... until before I knew it my time was up, my mom was back, and I still had not made any decisions. I just enjoyed looking, and sometimes I would even go home with my dollar, and then give it to my grandmother to put in my savings account.

You see, people called me "picky" when I was growing up because I would take my time and think of all the options before choosing one. I did this about food, about what to buy, even sometimes about what to play with at my house. I thought carefully, weighing all the options before settling on a decision.

Aren't you glad God isn't "picky" when it comes to forgiveness? As we are reminded by the psalmist, "Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all." God forgives all of our sins, not just a few, and not just certain ones. We may "value" one sin as worse than others, but to God, sin is sin, and all of them are forgivable. God will not force or coerce us to trust and ask for forgiveness, but when we do, we can rest assured that all our sins will be forgiven. During this time of Thanksgiving, I am thankful that God isn't "picky" about which sins to forgive, but rather forgives them all.

For what sins do you need God's forgiveness today? Will you trust God, who forgives all sin?

Jan McCoy is associate pastor of First United Methodist Church of Covington. She may be reached at