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KYC this Christmas (2)

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.            Isaiah 40: 1, 2    [written in Jerusalem around 700 BC]


News! News! The St Aubin Christmas lights are up at long last.


News! News! See above. Folk who have accumulated many depressing sins have received double for every one of them.


A mortgage is a debt, a “sin” – something that counts against me. So is a Credit Card bill that arrives monthly and increases and cannot be got rid of. So is an overdraft that is always bumping against and exceeding its upper limit.


What happens when folk are credited with double for every debt? The debit balance of £X becomes a credit balance of £X. Wonderful. And who was going to do that back in 700 BC? The “hand of the LORD” would end war and pardon iniquity.


Historians and archaeologists have established that, when Isaiah wrote these words, the folk referred to as “my people says your God” would very soon face war, turmoil and the loss of all the riches in Jerusalem through a rising Empire – the Babylonian Empire. So Isaiah’s message from God was only to be fulfilled after much pain and strife. Jersey has similar fears too. 


Under the Money Laundering (Jersey) Order 2008 all financial services businesses need to undertake KYC (know your customer) due diligence procedures every time a new business relationship is established.


One obligation of that KYC for a new bank account is that the bank needs to know what money is expected to arrive in the account, where it will come from and how it will be used.


How about a KYC on the 30-year old Jesus of Nazareth regarding funds at his disposal? Is he able to provide the needed “double” to others?


What do you expect to pay out of the account? All I have – everything I am. “I am the good shepherd….. I lay down my life for the sheep.” (From John’s biography.)


To whom will payments be made? Sinners. “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (From Mark’s biography.)


How much will they receive? Double for all their sins. “Truly, I say to you [the dying robber, crucified with Jesus], today you will be with me in paradise.” (From Luke’s biography.)


What do you expect to credit to the account? How will all this be funded?  The credit is all I have – everything I am. “Now from the sixth hour [noon – Passover Day – Jerusalem – AD 33] there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying …… ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ …… And Jesus cried out again and yielded up his spirit.”  (From Mathew’s biography.)


The Bank Account Opening Officer asks a final question (contrary to Bank rules?): Could my account be credited with double for all my sins, double for all my debts – including what I owe to God? “When a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man [and woman] who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” (Paul writing to Roman Christians AD 58.)


That’s the answer this Christmas 2008 AD to the biggest personal credit crisis we shall ever face.

‘Justice is getting what you deserve; mercy is not getting what you do deserve; grace is getting what you do not deserve’ (Stuart Briscoe)
‘Nobody who has truly seen the cross of Christ can ever again speak of hopeless cases.’ (G Campbell Morgan, Bible teacher, 1863-1945)
Richard Syvret

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