Can I forgive another?
These are questions of forgiveness that we wrestle with on a daily basis. Some of those struggles are small; perhaps someone took that parking place you thought was going to be yours, or someone took the last doughnut on a Sunday morning at the Welcome Desk.
Some struggles are heavy; an abusive or broken relationship, the tragic loss of a loved one, a deceitful act.
We are beginning a new sermon series entitled Real People, Real Problems, Real Help. This series will engage us in the struggles all of us live with on a daily basis. We will use biblical texts that speak to these struggles that point us in the right direction as we face these struggles. This series is inspired both by mentors in ministry and through pastoral conversations with people.
The series begins this Sunday with the concept of forgiveness. In life, questions of forgiveness greet us daily. Human beings have an amazing capacity to love one another in powerful ways, while also possessing the power to harm one another. The ability to forgive requires a lot from us. Forgiveness sets us free, yet challenges us perhaps more than any other spiritual discipline challenges us. Countless studies have shown that forgiveness aids mental and physical health, while holding a grudge and harboring resentment has the opposite effect. If its so good for us, why is it so hard to do?
Jesus spoke often of forgiveness, most notably in the following exchange with Peter, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven? Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.”
I hope you will make plans to be in worship this Sunday as well as inviting someone with you who is struggling with forgiveness. Come and let us experience God’s grace together. See you Sunday.
Grace and peace,