In Francine Rivers’ novel, The Last Sin Eater, we meet a village of 19th century Welsh immigrants who make the Appalachian Mountains their new home. In the village there is a young girl named Cadi Forbes. She is haunted by the death of her younger sister; a death she feels responsible for.
The immigrants have brought an ancient Celtic ritual with them to the new world – the ritual of The Sin Eater. Cadi approached the person who embodies this role, begging to be absolved of her sins. But when all is said and done – even the Sin Easter can’t free the girl from her misery. The one day, the village is visited by a stranger, who they come to call, “The Man of God.”
He and Cadi talk one day by the Riverbed. Cadi shares her woes, and The Man of God offers her an alternative reality…
“Cadi” he says, as he clutches his Bible, “there are some sorrows so deep that only God can touch them. No mere man can take away your sins, child. You see, there’s already been a sin eater, The Original Sin Eater, that the Lord God sent a long, long time ago. He was sent to take away all of our sins… once and for all…”
“Will you tell The Sin Eater how sorry I am?” asks Cadi. “Will you ask him to forgive me?” “Beautiful girl, you just did. Now your heart is washed clean of all the dark marks that this world or you have ever given to it.”
As she hugs the man of God, she asks, “Does he have a name?”
“Yes” , replies the Man of God…”His name is Jesus…”
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2 NRSV
This Holy Week, I am praying that we will surrender ourselves, anew, to the God Who comes to our rescue in Jesus. May “The Original Sin Eater” continue his work of helping us to die daily, so that he might continue raising us to New life.
Still, In ONE Peace,
Jon (the Methodist)
If you would like to view past editions of How Sweet the Sound, follow this link: https://sounddistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/