Answering the call to forgive
On Friday nights, I often watch the television program “Dateline”. Last week, I saw the story of a man who had killed one woman for no apparent reason. He also tried to end the life of someone else, but was not successful: his victim lived in spite of great odds. After may years, this violent and deceitful individual was tried in a courtroom and sent to prison.
What was remarkable about this story was that the girl he injured very badly decided to forgive him.
She hoped that he would forever remain in jail, but she looked him in the eye and said, “I forgive you”.
It is written in Matthew’s gospel, “then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’
Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.’”
Forgiving someone who has wronged you or hurt you is not easy. Dropping him or her from your life forever seems sometimes like a good idea. Yet Jesus calls us to forgive and to begin again.
All of us fail to do the right thing sometimes. Often we injure a neighbour unintentionally because we are not well and we say, do or write things that don’t turn out the way we meant them to.
All we can do is say we are sorry and hope the other person can wipe the slate clean.
Matthew’s gospel tells us to forgive our brother from the heart.
In this summer season, let us seek to draw closer to God and to one another.
May we reconcile with our sisters and brothers in Christ.
May we remember that everyone of God’s children is precious in His sight. He will never leave us desolate.
Today, may we offer a kind word or do something nice for a neighbour. May we pray for others. May we see the face of Christ in everyone we meet and may everyone we meet see the face of Christ in us.
Rev. Janet Evans,
Iroquois United Church