It is hard to believe that lent is nearly here! Excited may not be the right word, but I am eagerly anticipating our lenten journey this year as we take a good-hard look at forgiveness. This is a topic Pastor Mike and I have been talking about addressing during a lenten season for years! We've looked at a bunch of different materials and just never really thought you found the right fit until this past year.
I think the Holy Spirit had something to do with that! I think perhaps we were not ready for it before, or in some way it will be even more meaningful for us. I have already been deeply moved and challenged myself as I have been preparing to lead you in preaching and teaching on this "good hard" topic.
I invite you into making room for this good hard work in your life.
Providentially, the devotional I often use entitled Seeking God's Face offered a good hard forgiveness prayer this week after a reflection on Matthew 5:43ff (Epiphany day 28). Let me close by sharing it with you.
Forgiving God, it seems you ask the impossible. I'd prefer to exclude my enemies from my life and your grace, to keep them locaked up in my imagination as monsters. But really, then, who's the imprisoned one? Free me from my hostile heart through the sacrifice of Jesus, assure me that I'm accepted as your beloved, and embolden me to forgive others from the heart. Amen.