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Baptist Church

1st of April 2014

This month the Christian calendar enables us to look at one particular line from a widely known prayer. It could be said that for many years forgiveness has been a cornerstone of British culture. Many times over, most of us would have repeated the Lord’s Prayer and noticed, and maybe glibly echoed, that phrase ‘forgive us our sins, as we forgive others’. The Christian faith has played an enormous part in shaping who we are and how we see ourselves and so surely this incantation has been part of our in-built moral fibre.

But let us just go back to it again because to forgive others means we have to recognise two very important things. The first is, we need to accept that we are just like everyone else. Yes, I am sorry to burst your social network inflated bubble but you are not really any different to everyone else. There is no distinction between wrongs when we begin to deal with this forgiveness thing. Why? Because we all need it, in whatever form we need it. And that brings us to the second acknowledgment and that is, we have all failed in some way and therefore we are in need of that very same forgiveness we are to offer to others. I would guess this doesn’t sit pretty with everyone but it is my belief that that is what we say when we repeat the line from the Lord’s Prayer. It is a mutual moral moment that connects us all and to refute it causes sorrow for all involved.

Those that are forgiven much, love much, is a paraphrasing of a bible verse and that in essence is what forgiveness is about. Recognising our shared failed humanity and loving (not forgetting or excusing) enough to forgive and just as importantly accepting forgiveness ourselves. Forgiveness is about loving someone despite their failings. It is about not excusing their actions because then there would be nothing to forgive but it is about trying to push those failures so far away that they no longer have power over us instead of love. I don’t pretend to say that forgiveness is easy, but then it wouldn’t be worth dying for, would it? Love Jason, The Man in the Manse

 
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