By Rev. Beth Rambikur
Food for thought:
What is forgiveness? What does it feel like? What does mean? What happens when we forgive? When others forgive us? Forgiveness is a powerful action that both gives and renews life, changes the heart, reorganizes thoughts, rearranges needs. Forgiveness does not undo the hurt, or recreate the past, rather it puts it back together again in a new way, a way that does not hide that brokenness occurred, that fracturing took place. Forgiveness creates a new wholeness that incorporates what has been broken allowing grace to shine through and be seen in the spaces between the pieces that have been put back together. What would it be like if conference were a place of forgiveness, of recreating our wholeness in ways that acknowledge where we have fallen short of one another and God, that confesses the way relationships have been strained or damaged, and celebrates God’s power of repentance and redemption to move between us and call us together? As we prepare to gather for Annual Conference what does it look like to embody forgiveness. What it means to be forgiven by God, so that we might forgive one another, and what does it look like for us to practice that forgiveness together as the body of Christ?
Giver of eternal grace, every day in every way you forgive us. Even before we know we need it, you mend our broken pieces, gilding us with grace so that we too may practice your art of creation through forgiveness with each other, allowing all that is broken to be redeemed, renewed in you. Teach our hearts to soften toward one another, teach our minds to release what we so righteously allow to hold us apart, teach our souls to remember that grace is the daily bread we need to thrive, as you give us this day forgiveness so that we can forgive those who sin against us. Amen.
One: It is easy to hold a grudge
All: It is easy to cast a stone
One: It is easy to remember the wrong
All: It is easy to build a wall
One: It is easy to speak words that hurt
All: It is easy to take actions that break and divide
One: But You call us to forgive
All: You cast grace
One: You abound in mercy
All: You tear down walls
One: You speak words that heal
All: You are the Action that renews and unites
One: You are eternal grace
All: Bread of life, who forgives even when we know not what we do
One: Re-member us, as the body of Christ
All: So that all might know we are your people by the forgiveness we practice.
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