Pastor’s Pen for February 2018

Written by Pastor's Pen - January 30, 2018 0 Comments

The Pastor’s Pen

Each Sunday morning in worship, as we prepare to receive the Lord’s Supper, we hear the words of Jesus, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.” For the forgiveness of sin. At the heart of the Christian faith is the good news that in Jesus there is the forgiveness of sin.

What does forgiveness do for us? Forgiveness frees us from the wrongs of our past and makes possible a new relationship with God. And as we are forgiven by God, we are moved, in turn, to offer forgiveness to others. As we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Forgiveness isn’t always easy. Both receiving and offering forgiveness can be challenging. But if we are open to being forgiven, and if we are willing to do the hard work of forgiving others, forgiveness can be a beautiful, life-giving gift.

During the season of Lent, I’m going to invite us to explore the gift of forgiveness – both God’s forgiveness of us and our forgiveness of others. At each of this year’s Wednesday evening Lenten services, I will be reflecting on a chapter from the book, Forgiveness – A Lenten Study, written by a Presbyterian pastor named Marjorie Thompson. Copies of the book will be available for those who would like to be reading along. I will also be leading a discussion of the book during the Sunday morning Adult Forum.

In the introduction to her book, Pastor Thompson quotes South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “There is no future without forgiveness.” And then Thompson adds, “There is also no Christianity without forgiveness. It is impossible to conceive of any expression of Christian discipleship that ignores or excludes a virtue so central to the good news. The entire message of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection would be lost without it. Forgiveness is the healing stream flowing out from the crucified Christ over a world that does not know how desperately it needs the healing.”

In Christ, you and I have been forgiven. And by the power of Christ at work in us, we are able to forgive others. Forgiveness is, indeed, a “healing stream flowing out from the crucified Christ.” During the season of Lent, I look forward to exploring with you some of the dimensions of this transforming and grace-filled gift.

May God bless us on our Lenten journey.

Pastor Selbo

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