Thursday, Second Week of Lent
The Strength to Forgive
…Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
People make mistakes. We all do at one point or another in our lives, right? Sometimes
we make minor, mainly harmless mistakes, like forgetting to put the washed laundry
into the dryer right away, or accidentally dropping spare change when we thought we
placed it in our pocket. These are either insignificant or pretty easy to correct, causing
no real long-term damage (no big deal if we’re out 25 cents). Other times, people
make big mistakes, like being distracted while driving and getting in a car wreck, or
lying to the boss. These are major problems, which may lead to being fired, sued,
injured, or even to death (not as easily forgiven offences, if your family is on the
receiving end). Still yet, there are some of us that, for unknown reasons, purposely
hurt others through physical, verbal, or emotional abuse. Even less forgivable, right?
Jesus tells us that the only way for us to be forgiven for our “mistakes” or sins, is for us
first to forgive the sins committed by others. Jesus does not make exceptions. He does
not tell us, “Forgive all except murderers,” or “all except thieves and misers.” Where
we might falter in weakness, Christ shows us how. When Jesus is betrayed, nailed to
the cross, and crucified, while suffering on the cross, Jesus calls out for God to forgive
those who have sinned against him, and against God.
We may be tempted to curse the impatient driver who cuts us off in the parking lot.
But God calls us to forgive. We may find our colleague’s political ranting distasteful,
but Christ calls us to forgive. We may feel pain and anguish when someone has
harmed us or our family. But the Holy Spirit helps us have forgiving hearts.
In this Lenten season, we anticipate the glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who died to save us, that we may be forgiven. Yes, many of us will make mistakes
between now and Easter Sunday. After all, we’re not perfect. But we can take our cue
from the One that is.
PRAYER: Lord, we pray at this Lenten time of meditation and reflection that you fill us
with the Holy Spirit, so we may have the strength to forgive. We thank you for the
example of Your one and only Son, Jesus Christ, who has shown and continues to show
us how to love so completely that we can forgive all wrongs against us. AMEN.
Joel K. Boyd
Seminarian, First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa WI
Communications Specialist, Faith Community Church, Franklin, WI
M. Div. student, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, MI