God’s Call to Forgive

The Opening Prayer for worship this weekend holds meaning around a topic that everyone wants to feel but oftentimes is much harder to dispense – forgiveness.

God of mystery and mercy, we gather to worship you in humility and hope because we believe you have the power to change the world; to change the world for the better with your love. We gather to worship you, trusting that no one or situation is beyond your concern or your reach. Such love astonishes us. Without your grace we cannot imagine such love. Inspire us with a vision of love which will change the world and our lives through the love and mercy we experience in Jesus Christ. Amen.  

Notions of forgiveness are universal in the human community. In The Book of Forgiving, co-written by Bishop Desmond and his daughter, Mpho Tutu, he offers a host of possibilities for our consideration.  They are, of course, the direct result of forgiveness, which include the restoration of the relationship, or the creation of a new relationship to the side benefits of improved health benefits and centering oneself in God’s great mercy and the extending of grace to another.

While these benefits may or may not be obvious, they are ever before us.  Creating a season or lifelong strategy is helpful.  The season of Lent is a time that is set aside for self-improvement and deepening our relationship with God and with others.  The book, co-written by the Tutu’s, offers a wide tapestry of examples of how people have experienced 

God’s forgiveness in their life.  Some of the journeys to that point are long and difficult, but we will be talking about them in the preaching moment of God’s Forgiveness this weekend.

God’s forgiveness is broad, granting the “small” or “great” request with equal vigor and grace.  All of us desire this kind of ministry of reconciliation from the Divine.  The passage from second Corinthians points out immediately the aspect of becoming a “New Creation” because this is what God desires for us and has given us through Jesus Christ:

17 So if anyone is in Christ, there[a] is a new creation: everything old has passed away; look, new things have come into being![b] 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself,[c] not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 

With these gifts, we can approach the discipline of asking for and granting forgiveness to each other and for ourselves!  Receive the gift!  Give the gift away!

Pastor Todd

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