[#pictureLent] March 30: FORGIVENESS

By June Wilkins
Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Columbus, OH

First, read Psalm 130: 3-4 

What keeps you up at night? If you’re anything like me, often,  a lot of that 2am time is spent rehashing conversations that could have gone better:  Hurtful things that were said to me, or hurtful things I said to someone else. Things that I wish I had said, and things that I wish I hadn’t said. Times I wished I had stood my ground, times I wish I had backed off sooner.

Keeping a score card (on others or on yourself) can become a consuming habit. Long term guilt and grudges can keep our heads, our hearts, and our time locked up. It is also the root of broken relationships, family feuds, and even violence and war.  

The alternate we are given is forgiveness. Forgiveness frees us and frees others. It reconciles relationships, creates healing, and is the basis of peace.  It is a wonderful alternative! And yet it is still hard to do. Somehow, our minds still prefer the sleepless nights, anger, and regret.

This is why forgiveness is talked about so much in the scriptures. This is why it’s the center of Jesus ministry and teaching. This is why God forgives us first and always: to show us the way. 

Prayer: Merciful God. Help us to forgive one another. Help us to forgive ourselves. Thank you for forgiving us before we’ve even known we need forgiving. 

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

1. Can you remember a time when you were forgiven? 
2.What things are hardest for you to forgive someone else for? What about yourself? 
3. What do you need help forgiving today?