Forgiveness is central to the Christian message, and central to the Lord’s Prayer. We hear Jesus’ words in Matthew and are asked to consider how much we have been forgiven, and how well we have forgiven others.
We look forward to a presentation this week by the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin’s India Youth Exchange group, including ELC’s own Brighid Monahan, as they will share their experiences of visiting India this past March. They will share this presentation at both Sunday morning worship services.
Worship this week: Saturday, 5:00 p.m. in Chapel
Sunday, 8:30 a.m. & 10:00 a.m. in Sanctuary
Don’t forget “Kingdom Rock” Camp ELC – Vacation Bible School begins Sunday at 6:00 p.m.
June 16, 2013
Key Verse: Jesus said, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12
Time: 30-33 C.E.
Background: Often people think of forgiveness as letting another off the hook for a wrong done to us. With such a view, it is easy to hang on to resentments and refuse forgiveness. But resentments are toxic, both to those we resent, but more so to ourselves. Resentments poison our souls and make us sick in body, mind, and spirit.
Forgiveness, then, is a cleansing process, ridding ourselves of the toxins of resentment. Forgiveness is a recognition that the scales of injustice are out of balance, and a willingness to live with the imbalance. Some wrongs may never be made right. But we can release the poison and accept the imbalance as out of our control. Such an acceptance and release can be healing for ourselves and our relationships. Jesus’ petition gives us permission to surrender our resentments and live in peace and serenity.
Community: How does our culture’s sense of justice shape the way we view forgiveness and reconciliation? What might happen if we tried to get even less, and tried to reconcile more? How might our world turn differently if we spent less energy trying to control and balance others’ behaviors?
At Home: Who stands in need of your forgiveness today? To whom do you owe an apology? Reconcile with one person this week. Begin with prayer and a plan. Make a commitment to communicate. Thank God for your healthy relationships.
Read This Week:
Monday: Happiness of the Forgiven, Psalm 32:1-7
Tuesday: I Will Remember Their Sin No More, Jeremiah 31:31-34
Wednesday: Bless the Lord, Psalm 103:1-5
Thursday: Forgive for Friendship, Proverbs 17:1-12
Friday: Paralytic Forgiven, Matthew 9:2-8